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l\S j_^IFE AND J" I y 









VOL. I. 


[All Rights Reserved.] 


§^p^T is strange, but none the less true, that the 
^JK$ majority of Englishmen know far less about 
kSssI the real state of Ireland than they do about 
the state of continental countries. The result of 
this ignorance is an intellectual disability to appre- 
ciate a character like O'Connell's. We believe this 
ignorance arises from one cause, and from one cause 
only : it is impossible to form a correct judgment on 
any subject when the will is biassed by prejudice, 
and the incorrectness of the judgment will be propor- 
tioned to the extent of the prejudice. 

It has been our one special object throughout the 
present work to quote from English authorities for 
proof of all assertions made regarding English mis- 
government of Ireland. Irishmen do not need such 
corroborative evidence ; but as we believe that this 
work will circulate as largely as other historical 
works by the present writer amongst Englishmen of 
the upper classes, we offer them, in proof of our 
assertions, such evidence as they can scarcely set 
aside. 2941 



We are very far from wishing to add strife to 
strife ; but the elements of discord, which have 
stirred the waves of popular opinion for some eight 
hundred years and more, are slowly abating. It is 
true, indeed, that the gibbet and the triangle are no 
longer used to silence the cries of an oppressed 
nation, but Ireland is not spared the lash of the 
tongue, even by those whose position, as rulers of a 
kingdom which is said to be "united," should suggest 
a wiser, if not a more paternal course. 

The prejudice which prevents the calm and dis- 
passionate consideration of Irish affairs and Irish 
character is the result, in some cases at least, of cul- 
pable ignorance. And yet, unfortunately for the 
national credit, and still more unfortunately for the 
national peace, those who are most ignorant are not 
unfrequently the most confident of the correctness of 
their conclusions. As an evidence of this prejudice, 
warping the opinions of a highly intellectual mind, I 
quote the following extract from the conclusion of 
Mr. Lecky's essay on O'Connell, in his work on "The 
Leaders of Public Opinion in Ireland 

" When to the great services he rendered to his country we 
oppose the sectarian and class warfare that resulted from his 
policy, the fearful elements of discord he evoked, and which he 
alone could in some degree control, it may be questioned 
whether his life was a blessing or a curse to Ireland." 

The most cursory acquaintance with the history 
of Ireland during O'Connell's long and chequered 
career, would surely prove the incorrectness of such 



a conclusion. No man was ever more opposed to 
" sectarian" warfare than O'Connell ; and, indeed, 
Mr. Lecky admits this himself in the earlier part of 
his essay, where he says : 

" With the exception of his advocacy of Repeal, no part of 
his Irish policy injured him so much in the eyes of the English 
people as the opinions he hazarded about the Church ; hut 
judged by the light of the events of our own day, they will be 
pronounced very reasonable and very moderate." 

How entirely true this statement is with regard 
to O'Connell's public career is well known, and the 
present work affords evidence. His moderation was 
the result of principle, since in his private correspon- 
dence he expresses himself as he did in public. 
When his religion was attacked he defended it witli 
the vigour of a man who had a definite creed to up- 
hold, but certainly no u sectarian warfare" resulted 
from his policy. Class warfare had existed in Ireland 
too long, and that which pre-existed certainly could 
not " result" from a future cause. That he " evoked 
discord" can only be said of him in the sense in 
which it may be said that a man provokes a quarrel 
when he is obliged to fight for his rights. It would 
be quite as correct to assert that Tell evoked dis- 
cord in Switzerland when he roused up the Switzers 
to resist a tyrannical oppressor. 

Mr. Lecky concludes by doubting whether 
O'Connell's life was a blessing or a curse to Ireland, 
and yet we think Mr. Lecky would scarcely deny 
that O'Connell obtained Emancipation for Ireland, 



and that Emancipation was an act of justice. It is 
thus that prejudice leads Englishmen of the highest 
intellectual calibre to write, to think, and to speak of 

There are two evils caused and fostered by this 
prejudice. Conclusions are drawn on false premises, 
and, of necessity, acts follow which are more than 
injudicious. The Irish are admitted to be an intelli- 
gent race even by their worst enemies ; they cannot 
fail to see the injustice which is done to them day 
after day by educated Englishmen ; and they cannot 
fail to feel, and to feel keenly, that their misfortunes, 
to use a mild expression, which are not their own 
fault, are made a subject of ridicule by those whose 
first object, whose first duty should have been to 
alleviate them. 

In the limits of a preface it is impossible to do 
more than to indicate subjects for consideration in 
connexion with the work to which the preface is pre- 
fixed. We can, therefore, only give Mr. Lecky's 
incorrect estimate of O'Connell's character as a 
sample of the opinion of educated Englishmen. 
Having done so, we descend a little lower in the 
intellectual scale, and quote Mr. Lowe's recent 
observations on Irish fisheries as an example, and a 
most painful one, of the flippancy with which Irish 
grievances are treated, not only by some educated 
Englishmen, but by men who, in virtue of their office, 
should be anxious to promote kindly feelings between 
Great Britain and Ireland, even should they not be 



bound by their position as members of Government 
to do acts of justice. 

One of the great outcries of the day is, that 
politics and religion should be treated as separate 
questions. We shall have a few words to say on 
this subject presently ; but we presume no Christian 
man will deny the duty of practising Christian charity 
in public life, or will deny that the circumstances of 
our birth were not under our own control. Mr. 
Lowe might have been born a poor Claddagh fisher- 
man. Instead of holding the reins of government and 
receiving the freedom of boroughs, he might have 
been toiling along the wild Atlantic coast for a bare 
subsistence for wife and child, lie might have been 
the victim of a God-sent famine, which left hearth 
and home utterly desolate ; he might have lost his 
little all in that year of misery and anguish, which is 
perhaps the only Irish calamity which no man has 
ever dared to charge on the Irish themselves. He 
might have been unwilling to beg ; he might have 
had an honest pride which kept him from the work- 
house ; he might have loved his home, wretched as 
it was, and his sea-girt island, poor as she is, too well 
to emigrate to the great Irish empire in the West, 
where an honest day's wage can be had for an honest 
day's labour. In his trouble he might have gone to 
his parish priest — the poor man's only friend — and 
prayed him, for God's great love, to help him to the 
means of getting an honest living, however humble. 
The priest would have replied, "I cannot help you ; 


the gentlemen who govern the country will not help 
you. The troubles of poor fellows like yourself used 
to be called sentimental grievances, there is another 
name for them now — they are called ' amusing 
grievances/ The Scotch fisheries are well protected 
by English gun-boats, and well assisted by the English 
Government ; but you are only a poor Irish fisher- 
man. You have at least a choice : emigrate, if you 
can get the money ; if you cannot — go to the work- 

The Cladda<?h fisherman would have asked the 


reason of this strange inhumanity ; and it would not 
have added to his affection for English Government 
to be told that the gentleman who found Irish misery 
so amusing, admitted that he did not exactly under- 
stand what had caused it ; that he believed the bad 
harvests had ruined the Irish fisheries ; though, 
indeed, he did not think that could have been the 
reason ; that, in fact, he knew very little about it, 
though it certainly was his business to know ; and 
that all he seemed quite sure of was, that it was 
" amusing." 

The Claddagh fisherman, some few weeks after, 
might have seen — for Irishmen are all great readers — 
an old newspaper, in which he would have found the 
following extract, taken from a speech made by a 
Cabinet Minister at Glasgow, when he received the 
freedom of the city ; a cursory perusal of it would at 
once explain the priest's meaning : 

" I will now enter on my last topic. I have made it last, 



because it is a little more amusing than those that preceded it. 
It is that Ireland has another grievance. (Laughter.) That 
grievance is this — the fisheries of Ireland have very much de- 
clined. I cannot say exactly why, but it is perhaps the reason 
given in a committee of the House of Commons, that they had 
given up the fisheries because they were so much discouraged 
by bad harvests. (Great laughter.) I don't think that could 
have been the reason, but, whatever is the reason, they come 
and ask me to lend them money on personal security — (renewed 
laughter) — the security of the fishermen and that of the priests, 
to lend money for nets and boats to resume these fisheries. 
Well, I said to them I was not in the habit of lending money 
in that way, and so the matter came to an end, and they assured 
me that if they had Home Rule it would be done at once. 

He would have observed that the gentleman con- 
cluded his speech with this quotation : 

" Only the actions of the just 
Smell sweet and blossom in the dust." 

And it might have occurred to him that a quotation 
from an older writer than Shakespeare would have 
suited his side of the question better. Has it not been 
written : 

11 The just showeth mercy, and shall give." 

This habit of meeting Irish complaints with con- 
tempt, was reprobated again and again by O'Connell, 
and yet it still continues. Even if the Irishman was 
still an " enemy," it would be unmanly to ridicule his 
misfortunes, when those misfortunes are, at least to a 
considerable degree, the fault of his rulers. Such 
ridicule reflects most on him who uses it. 



It is indeed scarcely possible to take up any work, 
whether of fact or of fiction, in which Ireland is men- 
tioned, without finding this spirit of ridicule ; and 
sometimes its bitterness is more than a joke. At the 
present time, an autobiography is dragging out its 
slow length in the pages of Frasers Magazine, the 
sole object of which appears to be to throw contempt 
on Ireland and the Irish ; and the suggestion is made 
for the hundredth time, to try depopulation, and 
rather to " populate the land with Chinese and reap- 
ing-machines, with monkeys, or any other animal but 
the Celt." The plan of populating Ireland with 
beasts has been partly tried, and does not seem to 
have given as much satisfaction to the proposers as 
they expected. How a country could be populated 
with "reaping-machines," is an enigma we do not 
pretend to solve. The plan of extermination was 
tried on a very large scale, and with very great suc- 
cess, in the year of grace 1654 ; but the results were 
contrary to expectation. A work has been written 
by an Irish gentleman, in which he gives statistics of 
the grand transplantation scheme which was then 
tried. . The accounts are taken from no doubtful 
source, they are compiled from State-papers, But 
the result was, that when English soldiers were trans- 
planted to Ireland, they were not at all more disposed 
to submit quietly to injustice than the "Irish enemy" 
whom they had displaced. 

A plantation of Chinese and reaping-machines 
would probably prove a failure also. 



But there is a yet deeper depth to which some 
Englishmen descend when they write or speak of 
Ireland. The pages of F raters Magazine are deli led 
by the suggestion to "abolish juries, burn the Habeas 
Corjms, and erect a factory in the Lower Castle Yard 
for spinning halters and cat-o'-nine-tails." The sug- 
gestion may be intended as a joke ; we suspect it is 
so couched to hide an earnestness of which the writer 
lias the grace, as yet, to be a little ashamed. But if 
gentlemen write such jokes, they must recollect that 
those to whom thev would not <nve that name will 
write such things in earnest, and probably support 
their degradation of our common humanity by quoting- 
higher authority. It is not long since a letter went 
the round of the provincial papers in England and 
Scotland, in which it was suggested, not that a cat- 
o'-nine-tails should be made, but that it should be 
used wherever an outrage was committed in Ireland, 
the parish priest to be the victim, because he was 
supposed to be cognisant of the offender through 
the confessional, and unwilling to give him up to 
justice. Are we returning to the dark ages? The 
suirorestion of deeds of blood and brutalitv is the first 
step towards their accomplishment when opportunity 

But there is yet another class in England who do 
not suggest such measures for the pacification of Ire- 
land either in joke or in fact, but who seem, never- 
theless, to consider that good advice is the one thing 
which Ireland requires. And this advice sometimes 



emanates precisely from those very persons who, for 
various reasons, are the very last individuals who 
should offer it. 

We take the opinions expressed by a recent 
article in the Contemporary Review as a sample. It 
may be said that opinions expressed in reviews, maga- 
zines, and newspapers are but the expression of an 
individual mind ; but this is very far from being the 
case. Those who write are persons who, either from 
circumstances or capability, express the opinions 
which others entertain. The greater number of 
people, both educated and uneducated, confine their 
reading to such books or serials as express their own 
sentiments on religion or politics. Publishers and 
editors cater for the taste of their public. No doubt 
in many instances opinion is influenced by writers, 
but it is rarely formed by them. 

It might be supposed that Irish gentlemen were 
capable of taking care of their educational interests, 
and that if they required advice, they would scarcely 
seek it from a gentleman, however accomplished, who 
has changed his religion more than once. But as the 
advice has been given, we may consider it briefly as 
an expression of English opinion on an important 

From the day on which O'Connell obtained free- 
dom of education for Irish gentlemen to the present 
hour, a certain party, and a large party, of English 
gentlemen have tried to fetter that freedom as far as 
it was possible for them to do so. In O'Connell's 



private correspondence with Dr. MacIJale, lie reite- 
rates his opinion that the education of Irish gentlemen 
should be confided to the clergy of their Church. If 
Irish gentlemen wish for such education, is it not a 
grave interference with the liberty of the subject to 
forbid it to them. 

In Mr. Capes' article also, it may be remarked, in 
passing, that, while it is entirely free from the sar- 
castic spirit which disgraces so many English com- 
ments on Irish affairs, there is nevertheless a de haul 
en has tone— a quiet conscious superiority. It is 
taken for granted that the Irish gentleman belongs 
to an inferior race, and that M we," the people of 
England, are free to deny or grant, as in our wisdom 
we think fit, with but scant reference to the wishes 
of the inferior being. 

The Irish gentleman is treated throughout as a 
person who should submit with thankfulness to the 
regulations made by the superior wisdom of his Eng- 
lish master. The Irish peasant is treated as pa'rt 
knave and part fool, and as altogether incapable of 
the exercise of even ordinary reason. 

Of the hundreds who have read Mr. Capes' article 
in the Contemporary Review, few indeed will have 
read his long and scholarly preface to the " Life of 
St. Frances of Rome," published in the year 1855. 
In the preface he wrote thus of the Catholic clergy, 
at the conclusion of an exhaustive defence of 
miracles : 

" Whether the Catholic religion is true or false, it is beyond 



the limits of credibility that its ruling" principle can be one of 
intentional deception. . . . The Catholic system must have 
fallen to pieces a hundred times over if its chief ruler and his 
subordinates were mere tricksters, playing upon the credulity of 
a fanatical and besotted world." 

On the subject of miracles lie argues forcibly; 
first, against the Protestant opinion that Catholics are 
fools, and then against the Protestant opinion that 
Catholics are all knaves. "If/ 1 he says, "we are 
sincere in our faith, it is impossible to suppose us 
willing to be imposed on." Writing of the Lives of 
Saints, he says : 

" Thus, too, I am myself engaged in a similar work, either 
laughing in my sleeve at the credulity on which I practise, or 
submitting from sheer intellectual incompetence to be the tool 
of some wily Jesuit who enjoins the unhallowed task." 

We leave Mr. Capes to select either horn of the 
dilemma. Perhaps, he may appeal from Philip drunk 
to Philip sober ; but under any circumstances he 
should refrain, in common consistency, from offering 
his advice to Irish gentlemen. 

When English gentlemen have quite decided 
what religious belief they really consider true— when 
they have decided whether they will believe in one 
creed, in three creeds, or in none — then, but not until 
then, should they offer any suggestion, or interfere 
with Irish gentlemen in the choice of a religion, or of 
educational guides. 

The struggle is a hopeless one. It will be better 
to abandon it, and to have peace. Irishmen only ask 



for justice. They do not want more ; they will not 
be satisfied with less. All through his long and 
stormy life, O'Connell was breasting the waves of 
English injustice. The truth may be evaded, it may 
be denied ; but it is still truth. Day after day, week 
after week, year after year, he asked only for justice. 
It was granted, at least in a measure ; yet, for all that, 
much more remains to be granted. If Englishmen 
would take pains to study Irish history, if they would 
make themselves acquainted with a life like O'Con- 
nell's, if they would calmly consider why he agitated, 
and for what he agitated, the future both of England 
and Ireland would be happier. 

But, in order to effect this desirable end two 
things are necessary : first, that the student should 
divest himself, as far as possible, of insular preju- 
dice ; and secondly, that he should make himself 
acquainted with the facts of Irish history, not from 
the narratives of those who have distorted it to suit 
their own ends, but by weighing the statements of 
the oppressed as well as those of the oppressor. 

This view of the subject was ably treated in the 
North British Review for October 1869. It is well 
remarked that : 

" Those who are not resolved to be misled by a fragmentary 
literature, should diverge from the beaten path to seek its com- 
plement, so that whatever judgment they may form at last may 
be formed after they have heard both sides." 

The habit of forming conclusions from the evi- 
dence of one party only, above all when that party is 




the one complained of, is neither wise nor philoso- 
phical. It has done more to deepen and widen the 
gulf of bitterness between England and Ireland than 
all the suspensions of the Habeas Corpus or all the 
promulgations of Insurrection Acts. 

The Irish naturally suppose that educated English- 
men have been at some pains to understand their real 
condition, and when they find the facts of that state 
denied or ridiculed, they can only conclude that the 
denial or the ridicule has been the result of bitter 
prejudice, and an irradicable hatred. The lower class 
of Irish do not know, they would perhaps scarcely 
believe, that so many English gentlemen are so igno- 
rant of the country to which they give so much good 

We doubt if even English premiers take pains to 
know the condition of Ireland as it is. Mr. Glad- 
stone may read the Times for information ; but the 
Times will not tell of landlord oppression or tenant 
wrong, unless some flagrant case comes before the 
public, which is forgotten almost as soon as it is read. 
He may read the Telegraph for sympathy ; but a 
ministerial organ is not likely to trouble the minis- 
terial conscience with reproof. He may read the 
Standard to learn Conservative opinion ; he will find 
his Irish policy roughly handled, but he will know 
well that this is done chiefly from political motives. 

What statesman ever troubles himself to read the 
Freeman's Journal, or the Telegraph, or the Irishman, 
or the Cork Examiner or Herald, or the Northern 



Star, or the people's papers in Deny and Gal way 
and Waterford and Clomnel ? And descending- 
lower in the social scale, the ignorance increases ; 
the mass of middle class Englishmen know nothing 
of the state of Ireland, except through the grossest 
misrepresentation. What wonder, then, that the 
countries are u united" only in name, and that the 
severance of this union is demanded by those who 
are hopeless of being understood ! 

We can here but draw attention to this subject, 
earnestly hoping that our efforts may not be in vain. 
There are thousands of honest, earnest, true-hearted 
English gentlemen, tradesmen, and mechanics, who 
would be as indignant as the Irish themselves if they 
could really understand the causes of Irish poverty, 
and consequently of Irish discontent. We have not 
space here to enter into details on this subject ; but, 
as we have throughout this work given English 
opinion on Irish affairs, well knowing that Irish 
opinion would not be credited by some of our 
readers, we give briefly now some English statements 
on the causes of Irish discontent : 

The Irish are taunted and reproached, I must say 
cruelly, with their poverty ; yet, until the passing of 
the recent Land Bill, they were not allowed even a 
chance of bettering their condition. They were to 
make bricks, they were cried out against as idle, yet 
never a straw were they allowed ; nay, if they even 
attempted to find straw it was taken from them. 

Enough of Irish history is known in England to 



prove the unhappy Irish peasant was not allowed to 
till the soil for himself, or even to practise any trade 
until the close of the last century. Every industrial 
resource was sternly forbidden ; how then could 
capital accumulate in the country ? Sir John Davis 
said the state of the bond slave was better than the 
state of the Irish peasant, "for the bond slave was 
fed by his lord — but here the lord was fed by his 
bond slave.' 7 

But it may be said, all this has passed away. We 
must not lay this flattering unction to our souls — no 
mistake could be more fatal — and yet no mistake is 
more frequent. English gentlemen, with the best in- 
tentions, will express themselves utterly disgusted 
with Ireland, and will fling aside all thought of doing 
her justice, because, as they say, they have done so 
much and she still complains. They have disestab- 
lished the Protestant Church in Ireland, but they 
cannot pardon us for saying that this disestablishment 
has not bettered the condition of the poor or middle 
classes one iota. Irishmen, too, cannot but know 
that that justice was done rather as a peace-offering 
at the shrine of public opinion than as special kind- 
ness to them. We are far from wishing to hear of 
the disestablishment of the Protestant Church in 
England ; but if it does not disintegrate itself from 
utter inability to cohere in almost every point of 
doctrine, those who note the signs of the times on 
the political horizon, are freely predicting its speedy 
dissolution by Act of Parliament. 



The recent Land Bill has done a certain, or 
perhaps it would be more correct to say an uncertain 
amount of good in Ireland. But how much more 
needs to be done, is best known to those who have 
personal acquaintance with the miserable state of the 
Irish peasantry. There are absentee landlords, who 
own thousands of acres of Irish land, whose one sole 
object seems to be to get the most rent they can from 
their half-starving tenantry. They may speak well, 
they may write well, they may enter cordially into 
every philanthropic scheme, except such as touch 
their own interests. Yet these men are pointed out 
as 'model landlords, because they visit their estates 
once perhaps in two or three years, for two or three 
weeks — because, at the order of an agent, whom the 
unhappy tenant dare not disobey, costly rejoicings 
are made for the visit ; but the landlord does not 
hear, and the agent does not care for the " curses, 
not loud but deep" which precede and accompany 
the demonstration. 

Even if no other evil were done thereby, the with- 
drawal of thousands a year from the country, which 
is spent in a distant land, is in itself a most grievous 
injustice. It is a natural law, that if you take crops 
from land you must pay nature back with interest. 
This natural law holds good in political economy as 
much as in physical science. Men may not defy the 
divinely-imposed conditions of nature, or if they do, 
they know the penalty ; but they do defy it when 
the penalty does not fall upon themselves. Again, 



the tiller of the land is the only trader who does not 
receive consideration in case of loss or failure. In 
some rare instances — and how rare they are Irish 
tenants best can tell — some consideration is made for 
bad weather and cattle plague, or other providential 
calamities ; but, for the most part, there is no such 
consideration. The rent is demanded equally, be 
the crop more or less, and the unhappy tiller of the 
soil who has already lived on almost famine fare, 
must only live on less. 

No couDtry can prosper unless those who till the 
soil are permitted a sufficient remuneration for their 
labour, to enable them in their turn to encourage 
manufacturers, Chinese and reaping-machines might 
support absentee landlords in affluence, but they 
could not raise any country in the social scale. 

If English gentlemen can forget their manhood, 
and degrade their nationality by attempting anything 
like a wholesale depopulation of Ireland, they would 
hear, not " Whisper in your ear, John Bull," but a 
thunder of indignation, which would soon break out 
into thunder of another kind. It is too late in the 
nineteenth century for such folly ; and as the folly is 
impractical, it would be better for the self-respect of 
those who utter it if they would keep silence for the 

Taunts like Mr. Lowe's, and insults such as have 
disgraced the pages of more than one English 
magazine, do more to widen the breach between 
England and Ireland, do more to increase expressions 



of Irish discontent, do more to make rebels than the 
speeches of the wildest Fenian, or the leaders of the 
Irishman or Nation. 

To honest Englishmen who wish to know the 
true state of Ireland, we say, Read the Irish local 
papers. You will find that even at the present day 
the most cruel and capricious evictions are taking 
place ; and you will find that whole tracts of land 
are reclaimed by honest and industrious peasants, 
only to have their rents raised as a reward for their 
labour. You will find, as the able writer of the 
article on the Literature of the Land Question in 
Ireland has said, " Opinions may vary as to points of 
policy suggested by the popular writers, and as to 
the gravity and bearing of particular statements ; but 
it is clear that a thorough understanding of the Irish 
question cannot be obtained without a knowledge of 
the existence of this literature, and a careful study of 
it." In this article also the writer fully exposes the 
dealings of two agents, both magistrates. 

If Irish evidence will be accepted, we would refer 
to the statements of the "Meath Tenant Defence 
Association," as published in the Drogheda Argus, 
and signed by the Very Rev. John Nicolls, P.P.,V.G., 
and his curate, the Rev. P. Kenny, C.C., published in 
the month of February 1872. 

By law, the Irish are free to choose and practise 
their own religion, yet there is an increasing attempt, 
on the part of English writers at least, to deprive 
them of that liberty. If it were possible to find any 


individual who could look at the whole question and 
consider both sides, his judgment would surely be, 
that until English gentlemen claimed personal or 
Divine infallibility of belief, they should not interfere 
with the belief of others. If the Catholic is aggressive 
in his religion, he is at least consistent. He believes 
in the Divine origin of his Church, and therefore he 
obeys her commands, and does his best to induce 
those who are without the fold to enter into it. The 
Divine origin of the Catholic Church may be denied ; 
but granted a man believes in it, there is no incon- 
sistency, logical or otherwise, in his acting on his 
belief. With the Protestant, whether he protests for 
a State Church or no Church, for three creeds or for 
none, the case is entirely different. Believing that 
all men are left to choose their religion, and not 
being able to deny that such choice leads to the 
selection of the most opposite forms of belief, he 
should in common consistency leave the Catholic to 
follow the dictates of his conscience, without even so 
much as verbal molestation. 

The strife between the world and the Church has 
never raged so fiercely as at the present day. It is 
the practice to speak as if politics and religion were 
two separate subjects, which should be kept carefully 
apart ; and yet the two subjects always have been, 
and always will be, inseparably united while time 
shall last. Where there is simple misapprehension 
on the subject, it arises from not clearly under- 
standing what politics really are. Where there is a 



particular bias, as in the case of those who are con- 
stantly declaiming against the interference of priests 
in politics, the case is different. 

Politics are taken simply to mean the rivalries of 
certain opposite parties for power. Even taking this 
lowest view, religion must enter into the question. 
In England we find Mr. Gladstone taunted again and 
again with subservience to the Irish hierarchy on the 
Education question, for the purpose of keeping him- 
self in power. The entire politics of the day in 
Germany turn on religious questions, and Bismarck, 
after expelling the Jesuits, is occupying himself with 
an attempt to get rid of the Catholic hierarchy. 
" We may wonder at the authority the Pope exercises, 
and we may regret it ; but there it is, a patent and 
incontestable fact." 1 So patent and incontestable is 
this fact, indeed, that one might have supposed the 
world would have learned to submit quietly to it, if 
we did not know that an eternal enmity between 
the world and the Church has been predicted by 
the Eternal Truth. 

If we take the word "politics" in the largest 
sense, we shall see at once that we cannot separate 
politics from religion. Politics are part of the ethics 
of government ; to govern implies not merely to 
make war or peace, but to rule and regulate all the 
internal constitution of a kingdom. How can such 
ruling be separated from religion ? Statesmen must 
either govern the state under some kind of submission 

1 Standard, 1st Oct. 1872. 



to it Supreme Power, or they must govern it as in- 
fidels. Human beings, considered in the aggregate, 
are the subject matter of political science ; when 
amongst, say four millions of human beings, there 
are two or three different forms of religious belief, 
and when this religious belief is of a practical cha- 
racter, the politician cannot govern without special 
reference to it. 

If this subject were more carefully considered, 
more than half the matter which has appeared in 
print on the subject of the interference of the Catholic 
clergy in politics, would be treated as simply useless. 
If Englishmen do not know they ought to know, 
that Catholics cannot separate politics from religion. 
There is a moral aspect in every political question ; 
the Catholic receives his moral teaching from his 
Church ; it is then absurd to ask him to consider 
such questions apart from such teaching ; it is childish 
to bandy such names as "priest-ridden" and Ultra- 

Protestants choose to call the Irish peasant priest- 
ridden, simply because they cannot understand the 
principle upon w T hich the Irish peasant acts. Because 
he is consistent ; because, believing a certain faith, 
he acts on his belief he is made an object of scorn, 
or at best, is looked upon as an incomprehensible 
being. So it is with those of the higher classes who 
are spoken of as being Ultramontane : they certainly 
do believe in the authority of the successor of Peter 
" over the mountains it is a fact, there is no use in 



quarrelling with it ; nor is there any wisdom in 
alleging .any reason for it except the true one. 

It is useless to devote pages of a serial to com- 
bative articles on the Irish Koman Catholic laity to 
talk of their bein^ under the rule of an " arrogant 
and domineering priesthood" in one breath, and in 
the next to say that they " detest and dread" the 
priest, because he " flatters the prejudice of the 
peasantry." 1 All such writing is simply the result of 

There are indeed, unhappily, some few Irish 
Catholics who have lost the freshness of their faith, 
who are half ashamed of the religion which they are 
still afraid to forsake. Perhaps fifty such gentlemen 
might be found in all Ireland — we doubt if there are 
ten — but they generally come prominently forward ; 
they are complimented largely on their liberality and 
their spirit by their Protestant friends ; and they are 
gratified by the compliment. They may proclaim 
their own opinions, but they have no right to speak 
for others, or to give a false impression of their 

The subject of Education is not unlikely to be a 
ministerial crisis in the next session. If the Catholic 
nobility and gentry, the barristers and magistrates of 
Ireland were as anxious to have their children 
educated by Protestants as some persons suppose, 
they have every facility for obtaining such education 

1 " The Irish Roman Catholic Laity." Fraser's Magazine. 



for them. It is therefore idle to taunt them with 
moral cowardice, because they follow their ecclesi- 
astical superiors in obedience to their conscience ; 
rather should the taunt be levelled against those who, 
while still claiming the name of Catholic, have ceased 
to be Catholics in unity or in practice. It is worse 
than an insult, to assert that the* Catholic gentlemen 
of Ireland admire the " manly courage" and " fervid 
eloquence" of Mr. Justice Keogh at Galway, and 
that they agree with him in denouncing " the tyranny 
of the bishops, the violence, dishonesty, and equi- 
vocation of the priests." We have yet to learn that 
it is " manly" to attack those who could not defend 
themselves, or that rant is " fervid eloquence." It 
might be supposed that those who write for the public 
would take at least some little pains to make them- 
selves acquainted with public opinion, would be at 
some pains to make themselves acquainted with the 
previous history of those whom they commend, and 
with the sentiments of those whose true opinions they 
profess to know by some mysterious species of in- 

With regard to Mr. Justice Keogh, he had un- 
doubtedly a right to change his mind both on political 
and religious questions, but his English admirers have 
no ground for honouring him as a consistent defamer 
of the priesthood or eulogist of a certain class of 
landlords. The truth is, that the great majority of 
English writers are entirely ignorant of what is well 
known to every man, woman, and child in Ireland ; 



or possibly, in some cases, they find it convenient to 
ignore what it does not suit their purpose to re- 
member. We would ask the thousands of honest- 
hearted Englishmen who have taken the judicial 
harangue of Mr. Justice Keogh for gospel to read a 
history of his career, published and circulated from 
one end of Ireland to the other. 

In the year 1851 this gentleman published a 
pamphlet, in which he revised a speech of his own, 
made at the Athlone Banquet, and from this speech, 
as published by himself, we give the following ex- 
tract : 

" I see here the venerated prelates of my Church — first 
among them, ' the observed of all observers,' the illustrious 
Archbishop of Tuam, who, like that lofty tower which rises 
upon the banks of the yellow Tiber, the pride and protection of 
the city, is at once the glory and the guardian, the decus et 
tutamen of the Catholic religion, joining with the tried and 
faithful representatives of the people, who, after each in his 
own locality receiving the approbation of his constituents, have 
done me the great honour of attending this banquet, to testify 
that I too was one. even though the humblest of that number, 
who, in a time of great trial, were found true to their country, 
their honour, and their God." 

In the same speech he denounced the landlords 
of Ireland as a " heartless aristocracy," as "the most 
heartless, the most thriftless, the most indefensible 
landocracy on the face of the earth," and as men who 
have made Ireland " a howling wilderness." 

It is conveniently forgotten, too, that Mr. Justice 
Keogh made a famous declaration — in which he in- 



voked the name of God in the most solemn manner 
again and again — to convince the Irish people of his 
sincerity to the national cause, a sincerity of which 
some keen-sighted gentlemen had their doubts. It is 
forgotten also, that on the 2nd of April 1853, he 
spoke of the Catholic bishops and clergy as his 
" revered friends." 

But there is a yet more startling phase in the 
career of this gentleman whom so many English 
writers are delighted to honour. If they praise his 
Galway utterances as " manly" and " fervid," they 
must surely give the same praise to his speech at 
Athlone, where according to the statement of the 
Lord-Lieutenant of the day, he distinctly recom- 
mended assassination. The subject was brought 
before the House of Lords on the 10th of June 1853, 
by Lord Westmeath. He said : 

" Mr. Keogh, standing on the right hand of that candidate 
(Captain Magan), spoke to the audience, the mob, in broad day, 
in the streets, the words which he should presently read for 
their lordships — words which had been heard by three magis- 
trates of the county, and which they were ready to corroborate 
on oath. At a place called Moate, from Magan's committee- 
room, Mr. Keogh said : ' Boys, the days are now long and the 
nights are short. In autumn the days ivill be getting shorter 
and the nights longer. In ivinter (or November) the nights 
will be very long, and then let every one remember ivho voted 
for Sir R. Levinge.' It was rumoured that vacancies were 
about to occur on the Irish Bench and that Mr. Keogh was 
not unlikely to succeed to one. Though it might be alleged 
that Mr. Keogh was not Solicitor- General when he made the 



speech to which he (the Marquis of Westmeath) referred, he 
wished to know whether any person who would attempt to 
advance any purpose, whether political or social, by such 
means, was Jit to be placed on the Irish Bench?" 

Lord Derby said : 

" The noble Earl (Aberdeen) says he knows nothing about 
that election speech, and, of course, I am bound to believe him ; 
but it appears to me to show a great ignorance — I do not moan 
the word offensively — but, at any rate, a great absence of 
knowledge in the noble Earl not to have known that, at the 
time when Mr. Keogh was made Solicitor-General, he was 
accused of having made that speech. The county of "West- 
meath is one in which Mr. Keogh has not a foot of land. He 
was acting there as a leader or partisan of what is called the 
Liberal interest in Ireland — liberal enough in some respects, 
but illiberal in others — and hi that capacity, having been a 
member of the former parliament and a candidate for a seat in 
the next, and intending to make his support valuable to the 
Government, he is reported to have warned the people that the 
nights were then short and the days long, that the time was 
coming when the nights would be long and the days short, and 
that that woidd be the time at which any person who might 
vote for Sir R. Levinge for Weshneath ought to look out 
for what might follow. And, if I am not much mistaken, 
there was a recommendation that the people of that county 
should collect together and go into the town of Athlone, for 
which he was himself a candidate, armed with shillelaghs and 
take care to use them when they got there. This may have 
been totally incorrect ; but if this, or anything like it, was said 
by Mr. Keogh so openly and publicly that it was a matter of 
general notoriety, I say it disqualified that honourable and 
learned gentleman from being put into any situation in any 
government in which, in the slightest degree, he might be 



called on to support, or nominally to support, the administra- 
tion of the law." 

Mr. Keogh denied the charge, but the Protestant 
rector of Moate, the Kev. Mr. Hopkins, wrote to Lord 
Westmeath to maintain that he had used the words, 
and his testimony was supported by the solemn 
assurance of several magistrates, and of two members 
of the Society of Friends. How Mr. Justice Keogh 
would have dealt with such testimony — had it been 
offered in the Galway trial, we all know ; with what 
withering scorn, with what scathing denunciation, 
with what " fervid eloquence/' would he not have 
borne down upon the unhappy priest who might 
have allowed such words to escape his lips ? His 
fine sense of justice would have been horrified, his 
power of denunciation would have been exhausted ; 
with that exceptional refinement and delicacy which 
characterises his judicial utterances, he would have 
imitated the tone and the manner of clerk or laic 
who had dared to commit such an outrage on the 
honoured aristocracy of the land. He would have 
forgotten in his just indignation to criticise the 
grammar of his victim, to give historical lectures, or 
to comment on his rhetoric. His grand thirst for jus- 
tice would have controlled all the petty pride which 
might tempt him to the little vanity of a display of 
superior education and knowledge ; the victim would 
have been held up to the scorn of the United 
Kingdom — would have been indicted without a day's 
delay for seditious utterances. 



Mr. Keogh's apology for his observations at Moate 
were conveyed in the form of a letter to the Duke of 
Newcastle, in which he said : 

" It did not occupy five minutes, and I was not reported so 
as to enable me to refer to it. I have no recollection whatever 
of using any language even similar to that attributed to me ; 
but my memory may fail me as to the precise words used in 
the heat and excitement of election occurrences, and I trust, 
therefore, rather to the evidence of friends who were present, 
and the inherent improbability of my expressing sentiments 
which I never entertained rather than to my own recollection." 

The Dublin Evening Mail, 2nd June, 18o3, an 
Orange organ, observed that " the seditious speech 
was no longer denied, but it was only a little one." 
Lord Eglinton read for the House a letter from 
Arthur Brown, Esq., J.P., in which he said : 

" I wish (as the magistrate who took the declaration of 
James Burke) to satisfy you that every word in that declara- 
tion is true, and that at least twenty gentlemen of independence 
and station (among them the rector of Moate, the Rev. Mr. 
Hopkins,) are ready and willing to support the truth of that 
deposition by their evidence on oath. The gentlemen in 
question were present on the occasion, heard the words so 
delivered, and there can be no more doubt of their utterance 
than of any other truth which cannot be disputed." 

We do not desire to pursue the unwelcome 
theme further. Our one object is gained if we can 
induce those English gentlemen who shall read this 
work to ask themselves why Irish Catholics of all 
classes, not only in Ireland, but throughout the world, 
are justly indignant at the Galway judgment, and, 




what is, if possible, of far greater importance, why- 
Ireland is not prosperous with English rule. It is 
frequently believed that " things have changed since 
O'Connell's time," that " the Irish are a discontented 
race whom nothing can satisfy," that " their grievances 
are sentimental." Certainly during O'Connell's long 
and noble career he obtained much justice for Ireland, 
certainly much has been done lately ; but while 
much yet remains to be done, it is neither right for 
English honour, nor safe for English prosperity, to 
refuse all that Ireland needs in order to be prosperous 
and content. 

The Irish peasantry are not in a prosperous con- 
dition ; and while the Irish hear their clergy ridiculed, 
and their conduct basely maligned and misrepresented, 
with the full approbation of the great majority of 
English writers, there can scarcely be peace between 
the two countries. 

At a meeting of the clergy of the diocese of 
Gal way, the following solemn protest was put on 
record : 

" We deem it our duty to record our solemn protest, not 
only against the judgment itself, but, for the information of the 
public and the Imperial Parliament, who had no opportunity of 
witnessing the strange scene, against the gross impropriety of 
manner attending its delivery, which we have no hesitation in 
describing as a desecration of the sanctuary of justice — shocking 
to the feelings of every impartial listener. We leave the public 
to judge of this, whom, from personal observation, we assure, 
that the delivery of the judgment, which occupied nearly eight 
hours, was but a continued paroxysm of rage, seemingly un- 



governable— one uninterrupted scene of roaring, screaming, 
foaming, violent striking of the desk with clenched fist, oc- 
casional walking backward and forward, with wig flung aside, 
mimicry of adverse witnesses, fulsome adulation of landlords 
and gentry, of which no printed report could give any idea 

So long as there shall be any distinction between 
the administration of justice in England and in 
Ireland, so long will the two countries remain dis- 
united. So long as English public opinion of Ireland 
is governed by prejudice, there can be little con- 
fidence. Let Englishmen show themselves ready not 
only to do justice, but to speak justice. 

We cannot conclude this preface without ac- 
knowledging our obligations to those gentlemen who 
have placed valuable documents, private papers, and 
letters at our disposal for the present work. To his 
Grace the Archbishop of Tuam we are especially 
indebted for the use of his long private correspon- 
dence with the Liberator, and for the copies of the 
few of his own letters to O'Connell which he has 
preserved. Bis Grace had intended to publish this 
correspondence himself ; but, with his usual disin- 
terested generosity, he transferred it to the present 
writer on hearing that she was about to publish this 
work. We are indebted also to the Most Kev. Dr. 
Purcell, Archbishop of Cincinnati, for some docu- 
ments on the subject of slavery, which, with some 
other papers, are reserved for another work. We 
owe him thanks, too, for his words of encourage- 



ment and for help, which has not limited itself to 
words. 1 

We have to thank W. J. Fitzpatrick, Esq., J.P., 
for the use of a valuable collection of old newspapers, 
and for advanced sheets of his forthcoming work, 
" The Life of Dr. Lanigan," the well-known Irish 
ecclesiastical historian, and the consistent and ardent 
opposer of the Veto. 

To Maurice Lenihan, Esq., J. P., Limerick, we 
are obliged for a very valuable collection of private 
papers, of which we hope to make more use in 
another work, and for the original of the King of 
Bavaria's letter to O'Connell. To Isaac Butt, Esq., 
M.P., we are indebted for the appendix to Chapter 
XV., and for his interest in our work. To Sir John 

1 A sample of the contradictory charges made against Catholics 
occurred lately in America. The Catholic clergy had been again 
and again taunted with indifference to literature ; nuns had been 
represented again and again as either half imbecile, or wasting their 
lives in useless and frivolous employments, unless they happen to 
make their work public as Sisters of Mercy. Yet there are few 
Orders in the Church in which the religious are not engaged actively 
and unceasingly in the great and noble work of education ; and even 
the most highly educated of these religious must continue to study 
both history and science, in order to impart the knowledge of both, 
as well as the lighter accomplishments which her pupils require, to 
fit them for their places in society. The charge of intellectual in- 
activity is about the most groundless which ignorance has made, 
and which prejudice persists in keeping up. 

Every nun who teaches the higher classes must teach history, 
and must write notes for her classes on history if she wishes to 
teach it thoroughly. Nor can she teach logic without explaining 
politics ; and though the angry discussions of the politics of the day 



Gray, M.P., we are obliged for the narratives of his 
prison life, and to Lady Gray for assisting in pro- 
curing them. To P. J. O'Carroll, Esq., we are in- 
debted for newspapers relating to O'Connell's trial, 
and we are especially indebted to J. Leyne, Esq., of 
the Registration Office, Dublin, for the O'Conncll 
pedigree at the end of the work, and for the notes 
appended thereto. 

Our special thanks are also due to Mitchel Henry, 
Esq., M.P., for a copy of his speech in the House of 
Commons on the 25th of July, 1872. Each part of 
the judicial harangue is carefully examined therein, 
and triumphantly refuted. This speech is all the more 
remarkable, as it comes to us from a Protestant gentle- 

cannot be beard in tbe conventual class-room, tbe whole subject of 
politics, in tbeir bigbest and truest sense, must be explained. 

Even at tbe risk of making tbis note very mucb longer tban it 
was intended to be when commenced, we would call attention to tbe 
discussion going on at present in tbe Englisb scbool boards, where 
it is found tbat history cannot be taught apart from religion. Not 
long since Mr. Arnold said be would not send Protestant children to 
a Catholic school. The school-board solicitor replied tbat the 
religious instruction ceased at half-past nine in the morning ; but 
Mr. Arnold answered tbat the elements of religious education were 
sometimes taught in other forms. The reports of the English Poor 
School Committee speak expressly on the matter ; and Canon 
Oakley, in his discussions on this subject in tbe Catholic papers, 
states that a " distinguished Protestant Government inspector" 
says that it may be necessary hereafter to proscribe history during 
the period of secular instruction. A little common sense, indeed, 
would show that it is almost impossible to teach any subject except 
pure mathematics, without giving at least a bias to tbe pupil's mind 
on religious questions. 


man. Those who strive to persuade themselves and 
others that Catholic gentlemen secretly admire the 
denouncer of their religion, and the reviler of their 
clergy, would do well to recollect that there are many 
Protestant gentlemen who have had the courage and 
justice to express their disgust for such a degradation 
of the bench in Ireland. Mr. Henry, being a large 
landed proprietor, was selected for special compli- 
ments, an honour which he scorned as it deserved. 
But Mr. Henry's relatives, though they had no con- 
nexion whatever with Gal way, or the Gal way judg- 
ment, were selected for comment ; and as his brother 
happened to be a priest and a convert, the judge, to 
enhance his rhetoric, and we must suppose to pander 
to the class in England to whom he knew the judg- 
ment would be acceptable, gave him the title of 

As we fear that many, to whom it would be of 
most service, may not see Mr. Henry's able pamphlet, 
we give the following extracts, as an evidence of 
Protestant opinion on the subject, from an able and 
educated man : 

" Yes, Mr. Speaker, I charge Judge Keogh with deliberately 
outraging the religious feelings of a religious people; and there 
is no one passage in his harangue which has given so much 
offence, and occasioned so much consternation, as his sneers at 
the efficacy of prayer. 

" Go among the peasantry of Ireland, and your greeting, 
from the bottom of their hearts, is ' God save you visit them 
in their sickness and sorrow, when their crops have failed and 
hard hunger knocks at their door, and their commentary is, 



'God is good.' Do them a service, and the highest reward 
they can promise you — not in meaningless words, but out of 
the sincerity of their religious nature— as I have heard a 
thousand times, is, ' We will pray for you for this people 01 
the West pray not with their lips only — they believe in prayer ; 
they believe that they have a Friend in Heaven, who will at 
last redress their wrongs and vindicate Himself to them. And 
yet, sir, before such a people, Judge Keogh, from the judgment- 
seat, and clothed in the official ermine, retails a stale and ribald 
jest, and fathers it withal on a priest, to show that it is no use 
their praying for rain unless the wind changes. 

"It is almost incredible. When he calls a Gal way priest 
1 this insane disgrace to the Roman Catholic religion,' I cannot 
help asking what religion he owns himself, and whether he 
disgraces it or not — and whether he is sane ?" 

We have mentioned elsewhere the obligations to 
the Rev. John O'Hanlon, C.C., for the record ol 
O'Connell's last days, which will be found at page 
756, and to the Rev. M. Close for a verbatim copy of 
this interesting document. To Mr. Close I am in- 
debted for much help in my literary labours, given 
with so prompt courtesy, which enhances their value. 

We may also observe, for the national credit, that 
we have found the proprietors of Webb's Library, in 
Dublin, most obliging in supplying w r orks of refer- 
ence. We can confidently recommend this library 
to students. It was first brought to our notice by 
several Catholic clergymen. The proprietors are, 
we believe, Protestants — another evidence, were it 
needed, that the Catholic clergy are readers of a 
high class of literature, and that party prejudice is 



confined now, as it was in the time of O'Connell, to 
a class whom nothing will satisfy except Orange 
ascendancy, and liberty to tyrannise over all who 
differ from them in politics or religion. 1 

1 As we have been unable to use a considerable quantity of 
material which we have collected for the Life of O'Connell in this 
work, we purpose using it on a future occasion. We shall be 
obliged for any information which may be useful for this purpose. 





Political Situation at tho timo of O'Connell's Birth— His 
Pedigree — Paul Jones — Smuggling in Kerry — English 
Oppression — O'Connell's Affection for his Mother, and 
Pride of Family — Darrynane Ahbey — The Clan O'Con- 
nell — O'Connell's Early Aptitude for letters — His First 
School-master — Tho "Crelaghs" — Father O'GraJy — 
At School in Cork — Education in France — Early 
Hatred of England — Reign of Terror — Louis XVIII. 
and the Old Irish Brigade — General Daniel Count 
O'Connell, ...... 3-58 



The French Revolution and the Irish Rebellion Com- 
pared—Louis XIV. and George III. — English Opinions 
on Irish Policy — Louis XVI. — The Two Sheares — St. 
Omer's — O'Connell and the Priesthood — His Opinions 
of the French Revolution — Interview with Robert 
Owen — At Lincoln's Inn — Origin of Constitution- 
alism — Catholic Church Conservative — The English 
and Irish Catholics Contrasted— Early Toryism — 
Hardy's Trial — Home Tooke — The Georges and the 
Stuarts — Rise of Democracy — American War — Ben- 
jamin Franklin — The Irish in America, I . . Gl-100 






Political Troubles in England — Attack on the King — 
Fondness for Field Sports — Fever — First Visit to 
Dublin— English Policy with Ireland— Forced Attempt 
at Legislative Justice— Causes and Character of the 
Irish Rebellion — Grattan — Lord Charlemont — Ireland 
in Arms — Alarm in England — Wants of Ireland — Mr. 
Fox — Repeal of Act VI. Geo. I. — Causes of the Ruin 
of Irish Independence—English Bribery — Grattan's 
Letter, 103-156 



The Northern Whig Club— The United Irishmen Club- 
Catholic Address to the King — Political Commotions — 
Treachery of Pitt— Lord Fitzwilliam, the Catholic 
Question, and the Beresfords — Maynooth Established 
— The Orange Society — Catholic Clergy — Overzeal of 
O'Connell— Arrests — List of Suspected Persons— Lord 
Cornwallis' Administration — The Cromwell Policy — 
State of the Peasantry — Testimony of Mary Lead- 
better, ...... 159-194 



First Circuit — At the Bar — Jerry Keller — Bar Stories — 
Promise of Success — Clear Ideas of Fox — The Irish 
Parliament — The Union — Policy of Pitt — Bribery — 
The Priests — Concussion in Voting — Letter of Mr. 
Luke Fox— The Bar and the Union— 4 'The Anti- 
Union" — First Speech — Anti- Union Resolutions — 
Personal Appearance — Grattan and Pitt — Personal 
danger, ...... 197-254 





On Circuit — In Court — Bar Anecdotes — Marriage — On 
Guard — Fresh Risings and Revenges — Catholic 
Church — Catholic Priests and Protestant Clergy— 
Maynooth— The Veto — Pole — Wellesley — Castlereagh 
— Plain Speaking — Love of Justice — Resolution to 
Petition — Effects of the Union — Demand for its Re- 
peal — Speech — Petition — The Hierarchy — The Pro- 
testant Bishop of Meath — The Edinburgh Review — 
Cobbett— Lift into Popularity, . . . 257-313 



Orange Outrages — Religious Persecution — Intolerance in 
the Army — Adventures on Circuit — Another Affair of 
Honour — Professional Successes— Speech at Lime- 
rick—Happy Allusions — Address from Dingle, and 
Reply — Catholics Entertaining Protestants at the 
Festive Board — The Government and the Catholic 
Association — Mr. "Wellesley Pole — Addressing the 
Prince of Wales — Speeches on the Address and Con- 
duct of Pole — Mr. Perceval — Political Dissention 
among Catholics — Right of Assembly — Arrest of Lord 
Fingal — Shelley — English Injustice — Father Dan — 
At Limerick and Cork, . . . .317-354 


i VOL. L 


Frontispiece — The Clare Election. 

Darrynane Abbey, ........ 8 

M I'll make a stir in the "World yet," .... 48 

Approach to Killarney, ...... 61 

Lakes of Killarney, . . . . . . .103 

O'Connell's escape in a London riot, . . . .110 

Darrynane Aj3Bey, 159 

Start on first Circuit, 197 

O'Connell's First Speech, 230 

Darrynane House, ........ 257 

Portrait of O'Connell, 313 

[For List of Illustrations to appear in Vol. II. — see next page.'] 


List of Illustrations. 



Duel between D'Esterre and O'Connell. 
Mount Melleray Abbey. 

O'Connell's Address from the balcony in Merrion -square. 
O'Connell's Statue in Limerick. 
Dinner Party in Jail — " The Rising of the Nation." 
O'Connell leaving Kingstown. 

State Trials — The Lord Chancellor giving Judgment. 

Portrait of Dr. Mac Hale. 

The Triumphal Car. 

O'Connell in Henry VII. 's Chapel. 

O'Connell's Release from Jail — Triumphal Car passing the 

O'Connell's last look at the Irish Shore. 
O'Connell at St. Mary's Hall, Coventry. 
Monument to O'Connell in Rome. 
The Dead Tribune. 

Memorial Tower in Glasnevin Cemetery. 

Chapter Jtrsi 


Political Situation at the time of O'Connell's Birth : 
His Pedigree : Paul Jones : Smuggling in Kerry: 
English Oppression: O'Connell's affection for his 
Mother, and Pride of Family : Darrynane Abbey : 
The Clan O'Connell: O'Connell's Early Aptitude 
for Letters: His First Schoolmaster: The " Cre- 
laghs :" Father 0' Grady : At School in Cork: 
Education in France : Early Hatred of England: 
Reign of Terror : Louis XVIII. and the Old Irish 
Brigade : General Daniel Count O'Connell. 

HAR 7.. 

IIE events Whfch made 
the close of the eighteentli 
century renowned, cannot 
be thoroughly understood 
without something more 
than a glance at what was 
W then the past, as well as what is to us also 
the past. Europe and America, the New 
World and the Old, were both convulsed 
and revolutionised. One part, at least, of 
the British Empire was also convulsed, 
and it was also revolutionised. The con- 
vulsion was indeed caused by that revolt 
against injustice, which must come sooner 
or later both to the peoples and the individuals who 
are guilty of injustice. This revolution was termed 


History repeats itself. 

a rebellion, because the cries of those who initiated it 
were stifled in blood and death. 

History repeats itself. It may be useful to re- 
member this at a time when there is a probability of 
another revolution, none the less dangerous to public 
safety because it has its inception in a demand for 
personal liberty — not indeed the personal liberty of 
individual freedom to do justice, but the personal 
liberty to prevent the doing of justice by others. 

The American revolution was settled by law ; the 
French revolution was quelled by the power of one 
man. America obtained the freedom which every 
state must have, if it is to bear its part creditably in 
the political world. France was delivered from the 
despotism of many by the power of one : hence when 
the personal influence of the individual ceased, the 
multitude were left to seek other guides, with what 
result we all know. It might be king, or it might be 
kaiser who influenced the impetuous Gaul ; as long 
as the influence lasted all was well or appeared well ; 
the influence once withdrawn and the hero dethroned, 
for any reason or for none, the country is again a 
prey to anarchy. 

In Great Britain there was sufficient law to steer 
the bark of government over the torrents of revolu- 
tion, but unfortunately there was not always sufficient 
justice. The law may be good, but if it is not ad- 
ministered justly the results are scarcely less fatal 
than if there had been no law to administer. 

In England, law required justice to be done to the 

Law in England and Ireland. 5 

poor, speaking broadly ; but practically the law was 
not always administered justly, and had not private 
individuals been far more generous in practice than 
in theory, the peasants of Great Britain would have 
given trouble to their masters — and something more 
than trouble. 

In Ireland, the laws, as made by Great Britain 
and enforced by Great Britain, were not just ; and in 
Ireland there was more than trouble. 

From time to time the people rose up as they 
could against public injustice, against public oppres- 
sion — but might was for the time stronger than right, 
and the Irish Celt was too often a victim at the shrine 
of an unmanly revenge. Still something was gained, 
even by these disastrous attempts. 1 There were men 
in Ireland, and there are men in Ireland, who think 
little of the personal sacrifice of liberty or life if they 
may but gain some increase of liberty, some happier 

1 I have confined myself almost exclusively to English autho- 
rities for proof of every statement made in this -work with regard to 
the condition of Ireland. In a letter from Edward Forbes, Esq., to 
William Wickham, Esq., dated Dublin Castle, 28th July, 1798, he 
says, " The universality of conspiracy, the frequent debates and the 
consequent trials keep up irritation. Our military is also disorderly, 

and our yeomen resentful We get rid of seventy prisoners, 

many of the most important of whom we could not try, and who could 
not be disposed of without doing such a violence to the principles of 
law and evidence as could not well be justified. Our zealots and 
yeomen do not relish this compromise, and there has been a fine 
buzz on the subject, but it being known the Chancellor most highly 
approves of it, the tone softens." — Cornicallis' Correspondence, vol. 
ii. p. 378. 


The s Cornell Pedigree. 

condition of life for those who shall come after them. 
It remained for O'Connell to show that attention 
could "he attracted to Irish affairs by public agitation, 
and tha^, when attention was once given to them, 
some, at least, would see the necessity for a govern- 
ment of that country which should not excite rebellion 
by the enforcement of unjust laws, or perpetuate it 
by cruelty in the punishment of revolts excited by 
those laws. 

O'Connell was born at Carhen, near Cajiirciyeen, 
cm the 6th of August, 1775, 

The O'Conails, or O'Connells, were formerly 
possessed of the lordsjiip of Magh-O-Goinin, now 
Magoniby, in Kerry. The chiefs of the sept were 
transported to Clare during the usurpation of Oliver 

Hugh O'Connell, of the race of Fiacha-Finghine, 
son of Darie-Cearb, married Margaret, the daughter 
of Moenmoy O'Brien, prince of Thomond. His son : 

Geoffry O'Connell married Catherine, daughter of 
O'Connor Kerry. His sons : 

Donal, who married Honoria, the daughter of 
0' Sullivan Bere : 

Hugh, who was knighted by Sir Eichard Nugent, 
lord-deputy of Ireland, with whom he was a great 
favourite. This chieftain married Mary, base-daughter 
of Donal Mac Car thy Mor, whose son : 

Maurice declared for Perkin Warbeck, but ob- 
tained the pardon of Henry VII., through the influence 

The O'Connell Pedigree. 


of Mac Car thy Mor, on the 24th of August, 1496. He 
married Juliana, the daughter of Rory O'Sullivan Mor. 
IJis son : 

]\f organ married Elizabeth, the daughter of 
O'Donovan, the chief of Clan-Cathail, in Carbery. 
His son : 

4-odh, or Hugh, married Mora, the daughter of 
Sir Tadge O'Brien, of Baille-na-Carriga, in the county 
pf Clare. His son : 

IVforgan, called of Ballycarbery, high-sheriff of the 
cpunty of Kerry, married Helena, daughter of Donal 
Mac Car thy. His son : 

Richard assisted the Elizabethan generals against 
the great Geraldine, surrendered his estates, and o|> 
{ained a re-grant thereof through the influence of the 
lord-deputy. He married Johanna, the daughter of 
Ceallaghan MacCarthy, proprietor of Carrignamult, 
in the county of Cork. His son : 

Maurice was high-sheriff of Kerry, and married 
Margaret, the daughter of Conchobhar, or Connor, 
O'Callaghan. His son : 

Bartholomew married Honoria, MacCrohan's 
daughter. His son : 

Geoffry married Miss Barret, of county Cork. 
His son : 

Daniel, of Aghagabhar, jnarried Alice, the daugh- 
ter of Christopher Segrave, Esq., of Cabra, in the 
county of Dublin. His son : 

John, called of Aghagower and Darrynane, 
married Elizabeth, the daughter of Christopher 


Morgan O'Connell. 

Conway, Esq., of Clachane, or Cloghane, in the county 
of Kerry. His son : 

Daniel married Mary, the daughter of Dubh 
O'Donoghue, of Anwyss, in the county of Kerry. 
His son : 

Morgan, of Cahirciveen, in the barony of Iveragh, 
married Catherine, the daughter of John O'Mullane, 
Esq., of Whitechurch, by whom he had ten children, 
who lived to the age of maturity ; viz., four sons and 
six daughters. The sons were : first, Daniel, the 
subject of this sketch ; second, Maurice, an officer in 
the British service, who died at St. Domingo, in 
1796 ; third, John O'Connell ; and fourth, James 
O'Connell, now Sir James, Bart., of Lakeview. The 
daughters were : first, Mary, who married Jeremiah 
M'Carthy, Esq., of Woodview, county Cork ; second, 
Honora, the wife of Daniel O' Sullivan, Esq., of Eeen- 
donegan, in that county ; third, Ellen, who married 
Daniel O'Connell, Esq., solicitor- a t-law ; fourth, 
Bridget, who married Myles M' Sweeny, Esq., late 
of Drounquinney ; fifth, Catherine, who married 
Humphry Moynihan, Esq., of Freemount, both in the 
county Kerry ; and sixth, Alice, who married William 
Francis Finn, Esq., of Tullyroan, in the county Kil- 
kenny, for many years M.P. for that county. 

u Daniel O'Connell, who married Morna Duiv, 1 

1 Morna Duiv, or Black Mary, was a remarkable character. The 
Kerry people are, or perhaps we should say were, noted for the 
facility and appropriateness with which they gave nicknames. These 
names were, and still are in common use. In fact, they are almost 

Black Mary. 


and died in the year 1774, left his estate of Darry- 
nane to his eldest son, Maurice O'Connell, and he, 
having no family, adopted Daniel O'Connell [the 
Liberator] and his brother Maurice. John O'Connell, 
the Liberator's son, in a sketch of his father's life, 
writes thus of another Daniel O'Connell (see note at 
the end of this chapter) : 

" Respecting him there existed many peculiar cir- 
cumstances. First, he was the two-and-twentieth 
child of his father and mother. Secondly, lie entered 
the French service as a sub-lieutenant of Clare's 
regiment, at the age of fourteen, in the year 1759. 

necessary to distinguish the members of different families where a 
number of people all bear the same surname. This lady belonged 
to the old sept of the O'Donoghues of the Lakes, and was not a 
little proud of her descent. Her violence of denunciation, and her 
remarkable powers of invective are still remembered in Kerry. It 
would appear that she kept the purse, for when paying the labourers 
their weekly wages, she would thunder forth to each in her native 
language "May God prosper, or make away your wnges as you 
earned them." Morna was also a poetess, and her daughter, Mrs. 
O'Leary, wrote a poem of fierce invective on the death of her 
husband, Arthur O'Leary, who was shot by a common soldier for 
refusing to sell his horse to a Protestant for five pounds ! u Thank 
God," adds my informant, "those days are past." Morna Duiv's 
eldest son, Maurice, who adopted the Liberator, was known by the 
sobriquet of "Old Hunting-cap." He died at the advanced age of 
ninety-five. I am told he was a splendid old man ; and though he 
became blind as years advanced, preserved his other faculties to the 
last. He always wore his hunting-cap. An old Irish bardic topo- 
grapher writes thus of the O'Connells : 

11 O'Connell of the slender sword, 

Is over the bushy-footed hosts 

A hazle-tree of branching palms 

For the Munster plain of horse hosts." 

Count Q' Cornell. 

Thirdly, unaided by anything but his merit, he rose 
to the rank of major-general. He became colonel- 
cqmmandaut of the German regiment, in the Frencl} 
service, of Salm-Salm, of two battalions of twelve 
hundred men each, which he converted from an un- 
disciplined mob into confessedly the finest regiment 
in the great French camp at Metz, in 1787. Fourthly, 
hp served at the siege of Gibraltar, in 1782, being 
tjien the second lieutenant-colonel of the regimen^ pf 
royal Swedes — the first lieutenant-colonel being the 
Cpunt Fersen, remarked for his personal beauty, and 
his alleged intrigues at the court of Louis XVI. 
Fifthly, Colonel Daniel Count O'Connell — to which 
rank he had then arrived—volunteered, with one 
hundred men, as marines, in the ship of the French 
admiral, who vainly endeavoured to prevent the relief 
of Gibraltar by Lord Hood. Sixthly, he was severely 
wounded in the actual attack upon Gibraltar, when 
the French were driven off by General (afterwards 
Lord) Elliot ; and it was because of the gallantry he 
then displayed, that Louis XVI. conferred upon him 
the command of the regiment of Salm-Salm, already 
mentioned. Seventhly, he was appointed, in the year 
1788, one of the inspectors-general of the French 
infantry. He was the actual author of the system of 
internal arrangements of the infantry forces now 
universally adopted in all the European armies. ? 

1 Sir Bernard Burke, with reference to this system, tells us, that 
in the year 1788, "The French Government resolved that the art 
of war should undergo revision ; and a military board was formed 

Count O'Connell 

Eighthly, he was entrusted in 1769, by Louis XYL, 
during the first revolutionary violence, with the 
command of ten thousand of the foreign troops "hy 
which Paris was surrounded — and the writer of this 
sketch has often heard him declare, that if Louis XVI. 
had permitted the foreign troops to crush the Parisian 
revolutionary mobs, they ^vere both able and willing 
to 4o so ; but the humanity of that benevolent, but 
weqk, monarch prevented the making of the great 
experiment of suppression. Ninthly, he remained 
about the person of the king as long as it was possible 
for personal devotion to be of any use ; and only 
emigrated when it was impracticable to serve the 
king by any other conduct. He then made the Duke 
of Brunswick's campaign, as colonel d la suite, in the 
regiment of hussars, called k De Berchiny $ and, 
after the close of that disastrous campaign, repaired 
to {England, where he was principally instrumental 
in prevailing on the British Government to take 
into their service the officers of the Irish Brigade 

for this purpose, comprising four general officers and one colonel. 
The colonel selected was O'Connell, who was esteemed one of the 
most scientific officers in the service. Without patronage or family 
he had risen to a colonelcy before he had attained his fortieth year. 
Only a few meetings of the board had taken place when the superior 
officers, struck with the depth and accuracy of information, great 
military genius, and correct views displayed by Colonel O'Connell, 
unanimously agreed to confide to him the renewal of the whole 
French military code ; and he executed the arduous duty so 
perfectly that his tactics were those followed in the early campaigns 
of revolutionised France, adhered to by Napoleon, and adopted by 
Prussia, Austria, Russia, and England." 


The 0' Cornells in France. 

late in the employment of France. Tenthly, there 
were six regiments forming that brigade in the 
British service ; and the command of one of them 
was conferred upon him. Those regiments were 
exceedingly ill treated by the British Government ; 
and the officers (with the exception of the colonels) 
were unceremoniously put upon half-pay. The 
colonels, however, were, by stipulation, entitled to 
their full pay for life ; and he accordingly enjoyed 
that pay, and his rank of colonel in the British 
service, during the rest of his life. Being married to 
a St. Domingo lady, he returned to France at the 
peace of Amiens, to make his claims to her estate ; 
but, on the renewal of hostilities, he was detained as 
a prisoner in France until the restoration of the 
Bourbon family. Eleventhly, upon the accession of 
Louis XVIII. , he was restored to his rank as general 
in the French service, and received his full pay both 
as a French general and a British colonel, from 1814 
to the downfall of Charles X. in 1830. Having 
refused to take the oath of allegiance to Louis 
Philippe, he lost his French pay ; but retained his 
pay as British colonel until 1834, when he died in 
his ninety-first year." 1 

As Daniel O'Connell's grandfather had twenty- 
two children, and his father ten, a more detailed 
account of his family connexions would occupy too 
much space, and would scarcely be of general inte- 

1 " Sketch of the Life of Daniel O'Connell, Esq., M,P.," by his 
Son, John O'Connell, late M.P., p. 3. 

O'Connell's Grandfather. 


rest. Mr. O'Neill Daunt gives an amusing anecdote 
on this subject in his " Personal Recollections of 

"My grandmother," said the Liberator, "had twenty- two 
children, and half of them lived beyond the age of ninety. . . . 
Old Maurice O'Connell of Darrynane pitched upon an oak-tree 
to make his own coffin, and mentioned his purpose to a carpenter. 
In the evening, the butler entered after dinner to say that the 
carpenter wanted to speak to him. ' For what?' asked my 
uncle. ' To talk about your honour's coffin,' said the carpenter, 
putting his head inside the door over the butler's shoulder. I 
wanted to get the fellow out, but my uncle said : 4 Oh ! let him 
in, by all means. Well, friend, what do you want to say to me 
about my coffin ? ' — ' Only, sir, that I sawed the oak-tree your 
honour was speaking of into seven-foot plank.' — ' That would 
be wasteful,' said my uncle. ' I never was more than six feet 
and an inch in my vamps, the best day I ever saw.' — ' But your 
honour will stretch after death,' said the carpenter. ' Not eleven 
inches, I am sure, j*ou blockhead ! But I'll stretch, no doubt, 
perhaps a couple of inches or so. Well, make my coffin six feet 
six, and I'll warrant that will give me room enough.' " 1 

Morgan O'Connell, of Carhen, had a fair income 
though only a second son. It is noticeable and 
characteristic of the times, that he was obliged to 
make his first purchase of land through the interven- 
tion of a trustee ; and, although the consideration 
was paid by him, yet if the trustee (a Protestant) had 
chosen to violate the trust, he might have taken the 
property to himself. Any Protestant in the com- 

1 " Personal Recollections of O'Connell, " by O'Neill Daunt. 



niuhity, who chose to file a " bill of discovery," could 
compel that trust to be disclosed, and could take pos- 
session of the estate without repaying any part of the 
purchase-money. 1 

The young Daniel spent his boyhood partly with 
his father at Carhen, and partly with his uncle at 
Darrynane. There is ample evidence that he was & 
child of more than ordinary intellect, and of more 
man ordinary observation. He has left his earliest 
impressions on record, and the effect deserves special 

The famous Paul Jones got command of three 
French 2 vessels, in 1778, to cruise in the Irish seas 

" Sketch, &c," by John O'Connell, page 6. 

2 Paul Jones' expedition caused considerable disgust and dismay. 
Mr. Beresford wrote thus in a letter on the subject, dated Dublin, 
27th April, 1778 : " Perhaps the most interesting to you may be to 
know the disgrace brought upon the navy of Great Britain by a dirty 
privateer of 18 guns, called, I think, the Ranger, commanded by a 
Scotchman of the name of Jones. You have already heard of this 
vessel having come into Carrickfergus Bay, and dropped anchor by 
the Brake sloop-of-war of 20 guns, and of her retiring upon the 
Drake's firing at her. She kept at the mouth of the harbour for 
eighteen hours afterwards, then sailed for Whitehaven, where you 
have heard what she did, as also in Scotland. She then came back 
here to sail again into Belfast ; but the Drake having gone out on a 
cruise, met her opposite to Donaghadee, where they engaged, and 
after thirty-eight hours, she took the Drake, having killed her cap- 
tain, his clerk, and several men, and wounded Lieutenant Dobbs, a 
volunteer from Carrickfergus, and twenty-one men, shattered the 
masts and rigging of the Drake. She took also two vessels which 
she sank, and two others which she carried with her. She sailed 
north with all her sails crowded', with her prizes, intending for Brest. 

The Irish Brigade. 

and the Endish Channel, lie manned his small fleet 
with English and Irish sailors who had been prisoners 
of war at Brest, and who preferred such service to 
dying amidst all the horrors of a French prison. A 
company of the Irish brigade, always ready to fight 
against the country that expatriated them, volunteered 
to serve on board the Bonhomme liich&id, his flag- 

The first land made by Paul Jones upon his 
cruise from Brest, was on the coast of Kerry. When 
he closed in with the land, it fell a calm j and, the 
tide running at the rate of three or four knots an 
hour between the Skelligs rock and Valentia har- 
bour, the situation of the vessels became dangerous, 
and the boats were sent a-head to tow them out of 
their difficult position. Towards dusk, a light breeze 
springing up, the vessels got head-way, and were 
moving from the coast, and signals were made for 
the boats to cast off and come alongside ; but two of 
the crews, consisting of some of the Brest prisoners, 

Three frigates are, I understand after her, the Star/, of whom she has 
just twenty-four hours' law, the Boston, and another whose name I 
forget." An amusing observation of Mr. Harwood's, which he re- 
cords at the end of this letter, deserves mention through not directly 
with the present subject. You remember Mr. Harwood's observa- 
tion, " that His Majesty, God bless him, was the best natured niah 
in his dominions ; he was taking always the worst lawyers in the 
nation to himself, and leaving the best ones for the defence of his 
subjects." Mr. Harwood was M.P. for Doneraile in 1768, and wa r s 
celebrated for his bon mots. — Correspondence of the Bight Hon. John 
Beresford, vol. i. p. 29. 


Paul Jones. 

disregarded the signals, and, as the night darkened, 
pulled manfully for shore. They reached Valentia 
harbour safely- — pursuit being impossible. 

Here they were received by a gentleman with 
apparent hospitality, but the hospitality was only 
apparent ; he at once despatched messengers privately 
to Tralee, that a sufficient force of military might be 
sent to apprehend them. 

O'Connell was but three years of age when he 
witnessed this treachery. Probably he did not 
understand it until long after ; but he often spoke of 
one of the prisoners with whose manner and appear- 
ance he had been very much struck. This man was 
mounted on a grey horse, and appeared to be the 
lawyer of the party, as he remonstrated very loudly 
against the injustice which they had suffered. 1 

By way of reprisals, Paul Jones seized some 
sailors whom he found at sea off the coast of Valen- 
tia. These men, either willingly or unwillingly, were 
engaged in the celebrated action off Flamborough 
Plead, where Paul Jones compelled the Serajpis to 
strike her colours to his fleur-de-lis, but when in the 

1{< They remonstrated loudly against this treatment, alleging 
that they had not committed nor intended any breach of the laws, 
and that the authorities had no right to deprive them of their liberty. 
I well recollect a tall fellow who was mounted on a grey horse, 
remonstrating angrily at this coercion. No legal charge of course 
could be sustained against them, and accordingly in the end they 
were released." — Personal Recollections of O'Connell, by O'Neill 

Paul J> f. 


act of securing his prize his own ship sank, shattered 
by the fight and riddle 1 by cannon shot. 

Lieutenants McCarthy and Stack, who boarded 
with their few surviving marines from the tops, were 
the only French officers unhurt in the action, although 
they were the most exposed. McCarthy died a 
lieutenant-colonel in the British service, and Stack 
died a general in the same service. 

The poor fishermen were taken to Brest, where 
they were allowed to labour in the arsenal, and saved 
money. In 1846, one of these men had but recently 
died at a great age. He was a native of Valentia 
island, by name John Murphy ; but from the time of 
his compulsory adventure with the pirate down to 
his latest day, he was better known by the sobriquet 
of " Paul Jones ;" and such is the tenacity of the 
peasantry in matters of nomenclature, that his son, 
a respectable young farmer, was known as M Young 
Paul Jones." The father was a man of ereat indus:: 
and intesrritv, and died wealth v. 

Whatever motive the gentleman who entrapped 
Paul Jones' crew may have had, there is no doubt 
that the "Kind's AYrit" did not alwavs run verv 
safely in Kerry ; and that whatever righteous indig- 
nation may have been publicly shown on the question 
of foreign marauders, there was a good deal of privet? 
connivance at overt acts of felony. 

Dr. William Forbes Taylor, who wrote i: juemi- 
niscences of Daniel O'Connell/' under the nam de 
plume of a u Munster Farmer," says : 



Smuggling in Kerry. 

' ' In consequence of this form of intercourse (the periodical 
emigrations to join the Irish Brigade in France), what the law 
called smuggling and what those engaged in it called free trade, 
was very active between the French ports and this part of Ire- 
land. Morgan O'Connell's store or shop, at Cahirciveen, re- 
ceived many a cargo of French laces, wines, and silks, which 
were sold at an immense profit in the south and west of Ireland, 
and enabled him rapidly to accumulate a large fortune. English 
cruisers avoided the iron-bound coast of Kerry, which then had 
a reputation even worse than its reality. It was said, that the 
men of the Kerry coast combined wrecking with smuggling ; 
and that, for both purposes, they had organised a very complete 
system of posts and telegraphic signals along the bluff head- 
lands. When a suspicious sail was announced, nice calcula- 
tions were made to ascertain her probable position after nightfall. 
A horse was then turned out to graze on the fields near that 
part of the shore opposite to which she most probably was, and 
a lantern was tied to the horse's head. Viewed from a distance, 
this light, rising and falling as the animal fed, produced pre- 
cisely the same effect as light in the cabin of a distant ship. 
The crew of the stranger-vessel, thus led to believe that there 
was open water before them, steered boldly onwards, and could 
not discover their error until they had dashed against the rocks. 
There is no reason to believe that the O'Connells engaged in 
such treacherous transactions ; but there is indisputable 
evidence that they were largely practised in this part of the 
country, and that they afforded great protection to smuggling 
by deterring the English cruisers from the coast. Daniel 
O'Connell's infancy was thus passed amid scenes likely to 
impress his mind with stern hostility to the Protestant ascend- 
ancy, and the English Government by which it was supported. 
In the name of that ascendancy, he was taught that his 
ancestors had been plundered ; in the name of that ascendancy, 


Et / ud i Hon Fo / -l> iddeit . 


he saw his religion insulted and his family oppressed ; for the 
penal laws opposed serious impediments to his father's invest- 
ment of the profits of his trade in the acquisition of land. All 
around him were engaged in a fiscal war with the English 
government, and, in the code of Kerry ethics, a seizure by the 
officers of the Custom-House was regarded as a robbery, and 
the defrauding of the revenue a simple act of jusHoe to one's 
self and family." 1 

Education was also under penal law. By the 
penal laws it was t; an ofTence " for a man to practise 
his religion. Englishmen had changed their religion, 

1 Proof has so often been given of the truth of this assertion, 
that it seems scarcely necessary to repeat it here ; yet the Irish are 
so frequently taunted with laziness and indifference, that it should 
be remembered how little there has been in their antecedents to 
have induced habits of industry. They were not allowed to engage 
in trade. Arthur Young, after alluding to the discouragements, 
under the penal laws, to Catholics engaging in any regular trade 
requiring both industry and capital, exclaims : "If they succeed 
and make a fortune, what are they to do with it ? They can neither 
buy land nor take a mortgage, nor even fine down the rent of a 
lease. Where is there a people in the world to be found industrious 
under such circumstances ?" 

Down to the present century, the smugglers of England were as 
injurious to their own government as servicable to that of France. 
The Emperor Nnpoleon I. said, at St. Helena, to Dr. O'Meara : 
" During the war with you, all the intelligence I received from Eng- 
land came through the smugglers. They are terrible people, and 
have courage and ability to do anything for money. ... At one 
time, there were upwards of 500 of them at Dunkerque. J had 
every information I wanted through them. They brought over 
newspapers and despatches from the spies that we had in London. 
They took over spies from France, landed and kept them in their 
houses for some days, then dispersed them over the country, and 
brought them back when wanted." 


Effects of Penal Laws. 

and therefore the Irishman should change his. But 
there was one curious fallacy in the mode of reason- 
ing by which this conclusion was evolved. English- 
men declared (in theory, and very loudly) that they 
claimed for themselves the right of free judgment, of 
believing as they thought fit— of interpreting the 
Bible for themselves, But for the exercise of this 
right, for which they even asserted a divine origin, a 
similar liberty was not allowed to others — above all 
to their Celtic neighbour. It was indeed true that 
they denied this right even to each other, that they 
were by no means agreed as to which was the divine 
religion which men should accept as such ; that 
Puritan and Baptist, Roundhead and Cavalier perse- 
cuted each other when they could, for the love of 
God, as cruelly as they united in persecuting the 
Catholic ; ] but this was poor consolation to the Irish. 
Englishmen had not often, or for any great lengtli 
of time, the power of persecuting each other on 
religious grounds — unhappily for themselves, they 
had a permanent opportunity and a permanent power 
of exercising such persecutions in Ireland. 

1 " Afther well damning one half the community, 
To pray God to keep all in pace an' in unity." 

— The Fudges in England. 
There is no doubt that these extremely clever sarcasms on the 
anomalies of religious strife, had a powerful influence in removing 
prejudice if not ignorance, and showed the folly of the state of mind 
in which a man 

" Pledged himself to be no more 

With Ireland's wrongs begrieved. or shamm'd; 
To vote her grievances a bore, 
So she may suffer and be ." 

Lord CapeL 


In entering fully into this matter, we would 
observe that it is from no desire to recal the bitter 
past, or to excite feelings which are suppressed, if 
they are not passed away. But it would be quite 
impossible to understand O'Connell's life, or 
O'Connell's work, unless these subjects were fully 
considered and thoroughly understood. In his boy- 
hood he was himself the victim of these oppressions, 
and though his experience of them was comparatively 
trilling, it should not be forgotten that he lived at a 
period when old men could tell him tales of personal 
pains and penalties, of a rule which a truthful English 
Protestant writer designated as only fit for the 
meridian of Barbary. 1 

In the year 1G95, some eighty years before the 
time of which we write, when Lord Capel was 
appointed Viceroy, he at once summoned a parlia- 
ment, which sat for several sessions, and in which 
some of the penal laws against Catholics were enacted. 

1 11 Severity which seemed calculated for the meridian of Bar- 
bary, while others remain yet the law of the land, which would, if 
executed, tend more to raise than to quell an insurrection. From 
all which it is manifest, that the gentlemen of Ireland never thought 
of a radical cure, from overlooking the real cause of disease, which, 
in fact lay in themselves and not in the wretches they doomed to the 
gallows. Let them change their own conduct entirely, and the poor 
will not long riot. Treat them like men, who ought to be as free 
as yourselves ; put an end to that system of religious persecution 
which for seventy years has divided the kingdom against itself — in 
these two circumstances lies the cure of insurrection ; perform them 
completely, and you will have an affectionate poor, instead of op- 
pressed and discontented vassal?."— Young's Tour, vol. ii. 42. 


A Protestant Protest 

As I believe the generality even of educated persons, 
both in England and Ireland, are entirely ignorant of 
what these laws really were, I shall give a brief 
account of their enactments, premising first that seven 
lay peers and seven Protestant bishops had the 
honourable humanity to sign a protest against them. 

(1.) The Catholic peers were deprived of their 
right to sit in parliament. (2.) Catholic gentlemen 
were forbidden to be elected as members of parlia- 
ment. (3.) All Catholics were denied the liberty of 
voting, and excluded from all offices of trust, and 
indeed from all remunerative employment however 
insignificant. 1 (4.) They were fined £60 a-month for 
absence from the Protestant form of worship. (5.) 
They were forbidden to travel five miles from their 
houses, to keep arms, to maintain suits at law, or to 
be guardians or executors. (6.) Any four justices of 
the peace could, without further trial, banish any man 
for life if he refused to attend the Protestant service. 
(7.) Any two justices of the peace could call any man 
over sixteen before them, and if he refused to abjure 
the Catholic religion they could bestow his property 
to the next of kin. (8.) No Catholic could employ a 
Catholic schoolmaster to educate his children ; and 

1 A petition was sent in to Parliament by the Protestant porters 
of Dublin, complaining of Darby Ryan for employing Catholic 
porters. The petition was respectfully received, and referred to a 
" Committee of Grievances." — Com. Jour., vol. ii. f. 699. Such 
an instance, and it is only one of many, is the best indication of the 
motive for enacting the penal laws, and the cruelty of them. 

Against the Penal Laics. 


if he sent his child abroad for education, lie was 
subject to a fine of £100, and the child could not 
inherit any' property either in England or Ireland. 
(9.) Any Catholic priest who came to the country 
should be hanged. (10.) Any Protestant suspecting 
any other Protestant of holding property 1 in trust for 
any Catholic, might fde a bill against the suspected 
trustee and take the estate or property from him. 
(11.) Any Protestant seeing a Catholic tenant-at-will 
on a farm, which in his opinion yielded one-third more 
than the yearly rent, might enter on that farm, and 
by simply swearing to the fact take possession. (12.) 
Any Protestant might take away the horse of a 
Catholic, no matter how valuable, by simply paying 
him £5. (13.) Horses and waggons belonging to 
Catholics, were in all cases to be seized for the use of 

1 It will be remembered that at this time Catholics were in a 
majority of at least five to one over Protestants. Hence inter- 
marriages took place, and circumstances occurred, in which Protes- 
tants found it their interest to hold property for Catholics, to prevent 
it from being seized by others. A gentleman of considerable 
property in the county of Kerry has informed me that his property 
was held in this way for several generations. 

It was the opinion of O 1 Council himself, that no landed estate 
could have remained in the possession of Catholics, " only that in- 
dividual Protestants were found a great deal honester than the laws. 
The Freeman family of Castlecor," he observed, "were trustees for 
a large number of Catholic gentlemen in the county of Cork. In 
Kerry there was a Protestant, named Hugh Falvey, who acted as 
trustee for many Catholic proprietors there. In Dublin there was 
a poor Protestant, in very humble circumstances, who was trustee 
for several Catholic gentlemen, and discharged his trust with perfect 
integrity."— O'Neill Vaunt's " Personal Recollections." 

24 A Conversion from Popery 

the militia. (14.) Any Catholic gentleman's child 
who became a Protestant, could at once take posses- 
sion of his father's property. 

O'Connell, who had a fund of anecdote, was 
accustomed to relate an amusing incident on the 
subject of the peculiar facilities afforded for a change 
of religion : 

A Mr. Myers, of Roscommon, was threatened that 
a " bill of discovery' 7 would be filed against him ; in 
other words, that one of the enactments of the penal 
laws would be put in. force, and that he, being a 
Catholic, would be ejected by a Protestant, who 
would legally claim his estate. 

Mr. Myers preferred his property to his religion, 
and immediately posted to Dublin in all haste. Here 
he proceeded to the Protestant Archbishop, and in- 
formed him of his desire to be received into the State 
Church. The archbishop examined him upon the 
points of difference between the two churches, and 
found that he knew nothing at all about the matter. 
He accordingly said he could not receive him into the 
Anglican Church unless he should get some previous 
instruction ; and politely offered to commit him to the 
care of the Rector of Castlerea, who chanced to be in 
Dublin at the time. The proposal was most gratifying 
to Mr. Myers, for he and the rector had long been 
boon companions. They met in Dublin, as they had 
met in Roscommon, dined together every day for a 
week, and thus Mr. Myers went through his course 
of theological instruction. The conversation may not 

And the grounds for it. 


have been very spiritual, but O'Connell declares that 
a good deal of spirits were consumed. Be this as it 
may, and it certainly was the custom of the times 
to indulge freely, Mr. Myers considered himself suf- 
ficiently prepared — and his friend the rector agreed 
with him. 

Whatever the private feelings or reluctance of 
the archbishop may have been, he could scarcely 
refuse to receive an important convert ; he permitted 
him to make his solemn public abjuration of the 
errors of Popery, and to receive the Protestant sacra- 
ment. In order to celebrate the happy event, the 
prelate invited Myers and several zealous Protestant 
friends to dinner. When the cloth was removed, his 
Grace thus addressed the convert : " Mr. Myers, you 
have this day been received into the true Protestant 
Church. For this you should thank God. I learn 
with pleasure from the Rector of Castlerea that you 
have acquired an excellent knowledge of the basis 
of the Protestant religion. Will you be so kind 
as to state, for the edification of the company, the 
grounds upon which you have cast aside Popery and 
embraced the Church of England." " Faith, my lord," 
replied Myers, M I can easily do that ; the grounds of 
my conversion to the Protestant religion are two 
thousand five hundred acres of the best- [/rounds in 
the county Roscommon." The reply of the arch- 
bishop is not on record, but we hope there are few 
who will not agree with us in thinking it very pitiful 
and very little creditable to humanity that man 


O'ConneWs Family. 

should be compelled by his fellow-man to violate his 
conscience on the pretence of enforcing a religion. 

O'Connell was singularly susceptible of female in- 
fluence, and if at one period of his early life this sus- 
ceptibility led him into evil, it was only because alt 
that is best and purest in human nature is liable to 
perversion. He was tenderly attached to his mother, 
and, like many great men, attributed much of his suc- 
cess in life to her influence, example, and teaching. 

He often spoke of her in after years ; and even 
when his wonderful career was near its close, in 
1841, he wrote thus : 

' ' I am the son of a sainted mother, who watched over my 
childhood with the most faithful care ; she was of a high order 
of intellect, and what little I possess was bequeathed me by 
her. I may in fact say without vanity, that the superior situa- 
tion in which I am placed by my countrymen has been owing 
to her. Her last breath was passed, I thank Heaven, in calling 
down blessings on my head ; and I valued her blessing since. 
In the perils and the dangers to which I have been exposed 
through life, I have regarded her blessing as an angel's shield 
over me ; and as it has been my protection in this life, I look 
forward to it also as one of the means of obtaining hereafter a 
happiness greater than any this world can give." 1 

He was proud of his family also, and anxious to 
discover any mention of them in Irish history. How- 
ever he may have used the suaviter in modo as his 
style in winning popular affection and applause, he 
could practise the fortiter in re, if any undue, or 

1 Belfast Vindicator, letter dated 20th January, 1841. 

Dar ry wine Abbey. 


shall Ave say u blarneying'' influence was tried on 
him personally. There was some talk at Darrynane 1 

1 The following account of the Abbey of Darrynane, of which an 
illustration is given at the head of this chapter, was drawn up for 
my 11 History of Kerry" by the present proprietor, Daniel O'Connell, 
Esq., J. P., the grandson of the Liberator. This gentleman is de- 
voted to archaeological pursuits, and a contributor to many scientific 
journals. The u abbey," so called, of Darrynane, or Ahavore, was 
a small establishment of Canons lingular of St. Augustine. The 
remains consist of the church and some domestic buildings. 

The church is a simple parallelogram, about 40 feet by 18 feet. 
The walls remain, but the root* has long since disappeared. There 
are two doors in the north and south walls, towards the west end, 
opposite one another : that to the north has been the principal 
entrance, and has some slight remains of a moulded jamb and arch, 
the mouldings being of very early character. One of the heads 
which supported the label moulding, and some traces of the mould- 
ing itself, remain, but in a very worn and mutilated condition. The 
south door opened into the court-yard of the monastery, and had a 
plain chamfered jamb and arch. Both doors had pointed arches. 
On the noith side, the church was lit by two small round-headed 
lancets, having the common early "chamfer and square" for jamb 
and arch moulding. A similar window is in the south-east corner. 
The east window is a triplet of lancets, very narrow, with pointed 
heads, and similar mouldings to the side windows. These east 
windows have been at some period blocked up with masonry to 
nearly half their height ; apparently at the same time the doors 
have been partially blocked up on the inside, and converted into 
square-headed openings. All the windows have very wide s\ lays 
internally, carried round the heads of the eastern group. None of 
the windows have any rebate or groove for glass, but seem to have 
been barred with iron. 

The floor has been greatly raised by interments. A piscina with 
plain chamfer and round-headed trefoil arch remains. It has had a 
double basin, and a credence-shelf. Owing to the rise of the floor, 
the basin is now only a few inches over the ground inside. 

A rude block of masonry at the east end formed an altar. Al- 


Darrynane Abbey. 

one clay on the subject of pedigrees and descents. 
O'Connell said something about his family. " Oh !" 
exclaimed a guest, "I saw your name in MacGeo- 
ghegan's 4 History of Ireland/ somewhere at a very 
early date," 

The Liberator looked greatly pleased. " Pray get 
the book," he said ; u it is in the library." The book 

though the upper part and slab are gone, still this rises much above 
the sill of the east windows, and is singularly high compared to the 
piscina. It would seem that, after being disused, and the floor 
raised, the church had been again adapted for service, the present 
altar built, and the windows behind blocked up to suit the altered 
level. A curious projection of the rubble blocking of the north-east 
lancet seems to have served as a corbel for a statue or lamp. 

The domestic buildings are in the form of an L, one limb joining 
the church near the south-east angle, the other projecting from this 
to the west. These are very rude, and have no architectural fea- 
tures of any interest. The limb joining the church has some rude 
windows, and a door of rubble work in the east side wall, but they 
are much injured. A door with pointed arch of rubble, may be 
traced in the west wall, near the south-west angle. It is blocked, 
and the gable of the second wing built against it. Of the latter, 
only the gables and portions of the side walls remain. 

All the buildings are of rubble work, very rude, with a great 
quantity of mortar of the local slate stone. The window and door- 
dressings in the church are of brown sandstone, from a quarry near 
the luins. Owing to the bad weather- quality of this, they are much 
injured by time. 

The walls of the domestic buildings do not bond with those of 
the church, nor with one another. The buildings appear, therefore, 
to have been erected at three distinct periods — the church being 
probably the earliest. No fire-places nor flues remain, or can have 

In consequence of the east wall of the church having settled out, 
and threatening to fall, Mr. O'Connell has lately had two strong 
buttresses built to support it. 

The Irish Brigade. 


was got, but the passage was not forthcoming, and 
the gentleman was obliged to admit that he believed 
he had made a mistake. 

O'Connell flung himself out of the room with a 
petulance he seldom exhibited, and as he retired was 
heard muttering something about " humbug." Hav- 
ing this anecdote from a gentleman who was present, 
there can be no doubt of its authenticity. 

O'Neill Daunt says, in his " Recollections," that 
O'Connell " was angry at the disparaging manner in 
which his family had been spoken of by an anony- 
mous writer in the ' Mask,' who described leading 
members of Parliament:. 4 The vagabond allows me 
a large share of talent, but he says I am of humble 
origin. My fathers family was very ancient, and my 
mother was a lady of the first rank.' 1 

" In the time of James II., Maurice O'Conal, of 
Clare county, was a general of brigade and colonel 
of the king's guards. In that regiment John O'Conal 
of Darrynane — the lineal ancestor of the Liberator — 
served at the head of a company of foot which he 
himself had raised and embodied in the regiment. 

"When the Irish lost the day at Aughrim, John 
retired with his shattered regiment to Limerick, and 
was included in the treaty or capitulation of that 
stronghold. Respecting this gentleman, O'Connell 

1 In one of Victor Hugo's works, there is an analysis made by hiin 
of the great men of modern times who were respectively of noble and 
plebeian blood, and among the former he classes " O'Connell, gentil- 
homme Irlandais." 



John O'Connell of Ashtown. 

told an anecdote in the House of Commons, which 
awakened a storm of anger, groans, and turbulence. 
When the storm had abated, O'Connell, unabashed 
by the noisy vociferation of the house, proceeded with 
his anecdote, which he deemed illustrative of the 
subject before him : c On the morning of the battle of 
Aughrim, an ancestor of mine who commanded a 
company of infantry in King James's army, repri- 
manded one of his men who had neglected to shave 
himself, 4 Oh ! your honour,' said the soldier, 4 who- 
ever takes the trouble of cutting my head off in battle 
may take the trouble of shaving it when he goes 
home.' n 

Of another of his ancestors he spoke thus : 
" In 1655, John O'Connell, of Ashtown, near 
Dublin, the brother of the lineal ancestor of the 
Liberator, proved his good affection to Oliver Crom- 
well by conforming to Protestantism. He thereby 
preserved his estate. 6 1 saw his escutcheon,' said the 
Liberator, c on the wall of St. James's church, in 
Dublin, some twenty years ago. I do not know if it 
be there still.' " 

In Smith's " History of Kerry," the O'Connell 
family and pedigree are scarcely mentioned. A 
reason is given for this omission which is singularly 
and painfully characteristic of the times : 

" In the course of his literary peregrinations, Dr. Smith 
visited Darrynane, where he was entertained for several days by 
the grandfather of the great Agitator. The patriarch of Iveragh, 
in the course of conversation, communicated to the historian 

Date ofifCoimeWs Birth. 


many interesting particulars of local and domestic history. 
Warmed by bis genial hospitality and delighted with bis fund 
of anecdote, Dr. Smith proposed to Mr. O'Connell to devote a 
due proportion of the forthcoming history to the virtues and 
heroism of the Clan-Connell. The reply was not very en- 
couraging: 'We have peace, in these glens, Mr. Smith,' said 
the patriarch, ' and amid their seclusion enjoy a respite from 
persecution : we can still in these solitudes profess the beloved 
faith of our fathers. If man is against us, God assists us ; He 
gives us wherewithal to pay for the education of our children in 
foreign lands and to further their advancement in the Irish 
Brigade ; but if you make mention of me or mine, these sea- 
side solitudes will no longer yield us an asylum. The Sassenagh 
will scale the mountains of Darrynane, and we too shall be 
driven out upon the world without house or home.' The wishes 
of the patriarch were respected by the historian — a broken 
sentence is all he devotes to the annals of the Clan-Connell." 

In truth, this anecdote, for the authenticity of 
which we can vouch, reads but too much like the 
piteous plea of the Red Indian to the white man ; all 
he asks is to he left in peace, to be allowed to live — 
to be spared even his poverty. It is not creditable to 
our common humanity that such pleas should have 
ever been uttered by those who were once united in 
one faith, and who at least believed in one Father. 

O'Connell was also very particular that the date 
of his birth should be given correctly, and wrote on 
one occasion to contradict some mistakes which had 
been made on this subject. He commenced by 
saying that it was right to be accurate in trifles. He 
then goes on to say that a paragraph had appeared in 

Early taste for liter aim e. 

the journals, which, he was desirous of contradicting. 
" It contained two mistakes — it asserted that I was 
born in 1774, and secondly, that I was intended for 
the Church. I was not intended for the Church. No 
man respects, loves, or submits to the Church with 
more alacrity than I. But I was not intended for the 
priesthood. It is not usual with the Catholic gentry 
in Ireland to determine the religious destiny of their 
children ; and being an eldest son, born to an inde- 
pendence, the story of my having been intended for 
the Church is a pure fabrication. I was not born in 
the year 1774. Be it known to all whom it may 
concern that I was born on the 6th of August, 1775, 
the very year in which the stupid obstinacy of British 
oppression forced the reluctant people of America to 
seek security in arms, and to commence that bloody 
struggle for national independence which has been 
in its results beneficial to England, whilst it has shed 
glory and conferred liberty, pure and sublime, on 
America." 1 

The Liberator's literary tastes manifested them- 
selves early in life ; and again, in relating how lie 
mastered the alphabet Ave find yet another illustration 
of the unhappy state of unhappy Ireland. It was a 
crime for a man to have his children taught to read 
in Ireland ; and when it was found that Irish love of 
learning was too strong even for penal laws, and that 
the Irishman sent his sons to obtain abroad the ad- 

1 Dublin Evening Post, 17th July, 1828. 

State of Education in Ireland. 


vantages that were denied to him at home, it was far- 
ther made penal to seek education abroad. In truth, 
it was hard to know what was not penal in Ireland 
for a Catholic — and, in truth, any reproach on "Irish 
ignorance" comes with an ill grace from those whose 
ancestors did their best to render Irishmen a nation 
of ignorant slaves. We may be pardoned for doubt- 
ing, since we neither desire to deny our nationality 
nor apologise for it, if the case had been reversed, 
whether the English serf would have made as painful 
efforts and as areat sacrifices to secure himself educa- 
tion, had it been thus denied to him. 

For Protestant education, however, every provi- 
sion was ma le. For the upper classes there was 
Trinity College, Dublin ; for the lower classes there 
were the Charter Schools. These schools were 
founded in 1733, in response to a petition of the 
Protestant primate and archbishop, clergy, and laity. 
The preamble of the petition ran thus : 

" Humbly sheweth, — That in many parts of Ireland there 
are great tracks of mountaining [sic] and coarse land, of ten, 
twenty, or thirty miles in length, and of a considerable breadth, 
almost universally inhabited by Papists, and that in most parts 
of the same, and more especially in the provinces of Leinster, 
Munster, and Connaught, the Papists far exceed the Protestants 
in all sorts of numbers [sic], 

" That the generality of the Popish natives appear to have 
very little sense or belief of religion, but what they implicitly 
take from their clergy (to whose guidance in such matters they 
pcem wholly to give themselves up), and thereby are unfit, not 
only in gross ignorance, but in great disaffection to your sacred 


The Charter Schools. 

Majesty and Government— so that, if some effectual method be 
not made use of to instruct these great numbers of people in 
the principles of loyalty and religion, there seems to be very 
little prospect but that superstition, idolatry, and disaffection to 
your Majesty, or to your royal posterity, will, from generation 
to generation, be propagated amongst them." 1 

And so the Charter Schools were established. It 
was the old story, as old as the first ages of Chris- 
tianity ; the Christians were disloyal because they 
obeyed God in preference to Caesar, even while they 
proved their loyalty to Caesar in all that was not dis- 
loyal to their God, by pouring out their life's blood 
in torrents for the support of the empire. The Thun- 
dering Legion, whose Christian soldiers obtained by 
prayer 2 the salvation of the army of Marcus Aureiius, 
received no better treatment at the hands of their 
Pagan calumniators than the Irish who were loyal to 
James, the faithless Stuart. 

And these schools, in which the "ignorant" Irish 
were to receive their education, were thus described 
by the benevolent Howard and Sir Jerome Fitz- 
patrick the Government inspector-general : 

a The children, generally speaking, are unhealthy, 
half-starved, in rags, totally uneducated, too much 
worked, and in all respects shamefully neglected." 

1 " Ireland's Grievances — The Penal Laws," p. 29. Dublin : 
1812. Catholics were not admitted to Trinity College, Dublin, until 
1793, even as humble students, unambitious of academical honours 
or promotion. 

2 The authenticity of this miracle is admitted even by pagan 
historians, See Dion Cassius, Capitolinus, Claudius, and Tillemont, 
vol. ii. p. 370. 

Hedge Schoolmasters. 


The hedge-schoolmasters who taught in fear and 
trembling, while one pupil watched the road that all 
might disperse promptly if an enemy to learning came 
in sight ; or the itinerant schoolmaster who wandered 
from house to house as perhaps a safer method of 
obtaining a precarious existence, were the only in- 
structors of the Irish jouth : yet for all that, the 
Irish youth learned and learned well, and held his 
place as a man of learning in after life in those Euro- 
pean courts where he was welcomed, and showed 
himself not only loyal to the foreign power under 
which he took military service, but also of no ordi- 
nary ability as a commander and a strategist. 

At a time when O'Connell's own father could not 
be lawfully his guardian, it can be a matter of little 
surprise that he learned the rudiments of education 
from an ordinary pedagogue. 1 

1 In 1703, it was enacted "that no Catholic could be guardian 
to, or have the custody or tuition of any orphan or child under the 
age of 21 years, and that the guardianship, when a Catholic was 
entitled to it, should be disposed of by the Chancellor to the nearest 
Protestant relation of the child, or to some other Protestant, who is 
thereby required to use his utmost care to educate and bring up such 
child in the Protestant religion. Any offence against this act was 
punished by a penalty of i!500." The act permitting Catholics to 
be guardians to their own children was not passed until 1782. 

Usher, who cannot be suspected of any partiality to " Papists," 
has himself given an account of his visit to Galway, where he found 
John Lynch, afterwards Bishop of Killala, teaching a school of 
humanity. "We had proofe," he says, "during our continuance 
in that citie, how his schollars profitted under him, by the verses 
and orations which they brought us." Usher then relates how he 
seriously advised the young schoolmaster to conform to the popular 


" A Spoonful of Honey y 

Even in his own account of his first lesson in 
reading we see his preference for the " spoonful of 
honey" 1 sufficiently manifested; and though it can- 
not be doubted that his personal experience of the 
French Ee volution had a powerful effect on his future 
career, and made him tenaciously fearful of physical 
force, yet his natural character was gentle. The 
schoolmaster won his affection in a peculiar manner. 
His own son, John O'Connell, himself one of the best 
and gentlest of men, has left the account on record, 
and we give it in his words : 

" An itinerant schoolmaster came to Carlien one day, and 

religion ; but, as Lynch declined to comply with his wishes, he was 
bound over, under sureties of £400 sterling, to " forbear teaching." 
The tree of knowledge was, in truth, forbidden fruit, and guarded 
sedulously by the fiery sword of the law. 

For further information on this subject, and for details of the 
history of Irishmen who distinguished themselves abroad and at home 
under penal laws, we refer the reader to O'Callaghan's " History of 
the Irish Brigade," and to our " Illustrated History of Ireland." 

1 O'Neill Daunt says in his " Reminiscences :" <{ On one 

occasion when O'Connell had listened to for a long time with 

great suavity, I said, ' You were infinitely more civil to Mr.- 

than I could have been.' 

" 1 My dear friend,' replied he, ' you will catch more flies with a 
spoonful of honey than with a hogshead of vinegar.' 

" He admits, however, that he could show symptoms of being 
bored now and then. 

" Some of the habitues of the Repeal Association who knew 
O'Connell's feelings on such matters, have whispered to me during 
the speech of a long-winded orator, 'Watch Dan, now! observe how 
bored he is — there he sits with his hat pulled down over his eyes, 
patiently waiting until this gentleman finishes.' " 

O'ConnelVs First Lesson. 


took the little fellow on his knee. He then took out a pocket- 
comb and combed the child's hah* thoroughly, without hurting 
him as the rough country maids scarcely ever failed to do. In 
gratitude for exemption from his usual torture, the child readily 
consented to learn his letters fi-om the old man ; and in the 
short space of an hour and a half, learned the whole alphabet 
perfectly and permanently. 

" The moral of this tale is, not that you should comb 
children's heads gently, in order to ensure their learning 
quickly ; but that the difficulties of teaching them can be much 
lightened by a little care to conciliate their good-will to the 

It is just possible that the brain was nervously 
sensitive, 'as is frequently the case in children of more 
than ordinary capacity, and they may be tried to 
the very verge of endurance by ungentle usage. We 
agree with Mr. O'Connell that children may be 
taught the alphabet without " combing the head 
gently," but it is worth considering that if delicate 
and sensitive children were treated with more con- 
sideration, it might be of advantage to them both 
morally and physically. 

O'Connell was then nearly four years old. The 
schoolmaster s name was David Mahoney. 

In 1787, O'Connell was taken to the Tralee 
assizes and witnessed a curious exhibition of the 
fashion in which justice was administered in those 
days. From the manner in which the lower orders 
of Irish were hunted from one place to another, not 
only by the English army," but even by their own 
lords, whose private feuds were neither few nor far 


The « Crelaghs." 

between, many of them took to a predatory life from 
necessity, and continued it from desire. A band of 
these unfortunate men, who were called " Crelaghs," 
infested the mountains of Glencarra and preyed on 
the cattle in Clare and Galway, which they drove 
away and sold daily in the fairs of Kerry ; or with 
impartial rapacity swept off the stolen beeves of 
Kerry and disposed of them retributively in Galway 
and Clare. The harassed farmers regarded these 
" Crelaghs" with both terror and loathing : but their 
hatred was repressed by fear, because the Protestant 
gentry extended to the freebooters a kind of negative 
protection. A portion of the spoil which the grate- 
ful robbers presented to the sympathising magistrates 
rewarded this profitable connivance. Emboldened 
by an impunity, which having purchased they re- 
garded as a right, the robbers stole fourteen cows 
from the lands of Morgan O'Connelh Exasperated 
by this outrage, the father of the future Liberator, at 
the head of an armed party, penetrated the mountain 
defiles and proceeded to storm the haunt of the 
banditti. The struggle which ensued was of a very 
desperate and even sanguinary character, as the "Cre- 
laghs' 7 offered a fierce resistance, in the course of 
which the father of young Daniel wounded one and 
captured two ; while the remainder of the robbers 
broke through their assailants and effected their es- 
cape, to renew in another part of the country the de- 
predations which made them so formidable in Glen- 
carra. One evening, as Morgan O'Connell was riding 

Justice in Ireland. 


home alone, he was set upon by these desperadoes ; 
determined to revenge on his friendless head the 
injuries which, when surrounded by companions, he 
had inflicted on them. Rushing down the slope of a 
mountain, they called on him with threats to stop, 
and fired on him as he continued his course. His 
horse at this moment, terrified by the discharge of the 
musket, became unmanageable, and he was flung 
heavily to the grouud. While thus prostrate he was 
again fired at, but fortunately without effect. Regain- 
ing his feet he succeeded in recovering his horse, 
and springing upon its back he was speedily beyond 
the reach of the banditti, who pursued and fired at 
him as he fled. 

Some time subsequently one of the "Crelaghs" 
was convicted of horse-stealing at Tralee. Leaning 
on the bar, he heard the sentence of death with a 
degree of savage apathy which astonished every 
spectator in the court. M Is it listening to his lord- 
ship you are, you stupid gomeril ? n exclaimed a 
bystander, with unfeigned amazement. " Don't you 
see it's listening I am T replied the prisoner angrily ; 
"but fot do I care fot he says. Is not Colonel 
Blennerhasset looking at me — isn't he — all the time ? 
and he says nothing." The prisoner, doubtless, relied 
on the presents which he had given the colonel for 
an entire immunity from the penalty of crime. 1 Even 

1 Kerry cows were the victims of Kerry feuds from an early 
period, but especially during the Desmond war. The following ex- 


A Judge Bribed. 

the judges of that day were not all exempted from 
the weakness of accepting a bribe, though, for the 
credit of the bench, we must hope these delinquents 
were the rare exception. Denis O'Brien, a man not 
noted for obedience to law, had a record at Nenagh, 
and learning that the judge had talked of purchasing 
a set of carriage horses, Denis sent him a magnificent 
set. The judge graciously accepted the horses, 
praised their points extravagantly, and then, charging 
the jury in favour of Denis, obtained a verdict for 
him. The moment Denis gained his point, he sent in 
a bill to the- judge for the full value of the horses. 
His lordship called Denis aside to expostulate pri- 

tract from our " History of Kerry," recently published, will show 
how justice was administered : 

" The judges went circuit twice a year, except in the county 
Kerry, but whether the county was exempted from judicial visits on 
account of the general propriety of the inhabitants, or because of its 
remoteness and inaccessibleness, is by no means evident. Justice 
was administered with tolerable impartiality, for amongst the earliest 
Kerry records we can find of the seventeenth century, Sir Thomas 
Denny was fined £300, and bound ' to good behaviour' for seven 
years towards John Darroe : his bails were John Fitzmaurice and 
Eev. Barry Denny ; and at the same assizes Matthew Boarman and 
Daniel Sullivan were indicted, for that they, 19th December, in the 
nineteenth year of his Majesty, at Tralee, did assault, beat, batter, 
and whip John Darran. Summer assizes were then held, and in the 
same year David Sullivan was released from custody, wherein he had 
been detained since the summer assizes of 1740, for non-payment of 
a fine of £15, to which he had been sentenced for stealing a deer 
from the park of the Knight of Kerry. In 1777 a number of persons 
were sentenced, and a man was actually condemned to be hanged for 
stealing ' one Caroline hat, value 10s, and one wigg, value 6s. strls-' " 

A Scotch Ballad. 


vately with him. " Oh ! Mr. O'Brien/' said he, M I did 
not think you meant to charge me for those horses. 
Come now, my dear friend, why should I pay you 
for them ?" — " Upon my word, that is curious talk," 
retorted Denis, in a tone of fierce defiance, " I'd like 
to know why your lordship should not pay me for 
them ? " To this inquiry, of course, a reply was im- 
possible. The judge was obliged to hold his peace 
and pay the money. 

While enjoying the amusements of the county 
town, with keen eye seeing and sharp ear hearing 
what perhaps was scarcely noticed by others, 
O'Connell listened to a ballad which made an 
indelible impression on his memory. He related the 
circumstance thus to O'Neill Daunt many years after- 
wards : 

"I liked ballads above all things when I was a boy," said 
O'Connell. " In 1787 I was brought to the Tralee assizes. 
Assizes were then a great mart for all sorts of amusements— and 
I was greatly taken with the ballad singers. It was then I 
heard two ballad- singers, a man and a woman, chanting out a 
ballad which contained a verse I still remember : 

' I leaned my back against an oak, 
' I thought it was a trusty tree, 
But first it bent, and then it broke — 
'Twas thus my love deserted me.' 1 

He sang the first two lines — she sang the third line, both 
together sang the fourth, and so on through the whole ballad." 

1 This is a verse from the well-known Scotch ballad : — 
" Oh waly, waly up the hank, 

And waly, waly doun the brae." 


O'Connell in his Boyhood. 

O'Connell spent much of his time, even at this 
early period of his life, in study. When his play- 
mates were engaged in noisy games, he would sit 
apart absorbed in some book ; and books were rare 
enough then to be dearly prized. The " Voyages of 
Captain Cook " specially interested him, and he 
would sit for hours poring over the volume, or finding 
out the places on the map. He had also a great 
fancy for the Dublin Magazine, which was taken in 
by his uncle. This serial contained portraits of 
distinguished personages with their biographies, and 
even then some vision of and aspiration for future 
fame must have entered his mind, for he used to say 
to himself, " I wonder will my portrait ever appear in 
this.' 7 Yet, even in his wildest dreams, how little 
could he have anticipated his magnificent future. 1 

On one occasion when the family were eagerly 
discussing the topics of the day, and the respective 
merits of Burke and Grattan, O'Connell, then only a 
lad of nine years of age, was observed sitting in an 

1 Speaking of his own early recollection, O'Connell said : " My 
uncle used to get the Dublin Magazine at Carhen ; it usually con- 
tained the portrait of some remarkable person, with a biographical 
notice. I was always an ambitious fellow, and I often used to say 
to myself, < I wonder will my visage ever appear in the Dublin 
Magazine.' I knew at that time of no greater notoriety. In 1810, 
when walking through the streets soon after some meeting at which 
I had attracted public notice, I saw a magazine in a shop-window, 
containing the portrait of ' Councillor O'Connell,' and I said to 
myself with a smile, £ Here are my boyish dreams of glory realised.' 
Though I need not tell you that in 1810, I had long outgrown that 
species of ambition."— Personal Recollections, vol. i. p. 102. 

" Fll make a stir in the fborld" 43 

arm-chair, silent and abstracted. He was asked by a 
lady, who wondered at his silence, " What he was 
thinking of? " His reply was characteristic : 

" I'll make a stir in the world yet ! " 

Father O'Grady was then the chaplain of the 
O'Connell family, and prepared the boy for the 
Sacraments. A curious anecdote is told of this 
ecclesiastic. He resided at Louvain during the wars 
of Marlborough, and from the troubled state of Flan- 
ders he was reduced to the deepest distress. He 
begged his way to the coast, hoping to meet some 
vessel whose captain might take him for charity to 
Ireland. As he was trudging slowly and painfully 
along, he suddenly fell in with a band of robbers. 
One of the robbers was a Kerryman, named Denis 
Mahony, who, moved to compassion by the penniless 
poverty of the priest, and charmed wjjth the sound of 
his native tongue, gave him out of his own share of 
plunder the means of returning to Ireland. " God be 
merciful to poor Denis Mahony ! " Father O'Grady 
was accustomed to say, when relating this adventure ; 
M I found him a useful friend in need. But for 
all that, he might prove a very disagreeable neigh- 

The Liberator in after years accounted for the 
appearance of a native of Kerry among a gang of 
Flemish robbers, by supposing that he had served 
in Marlborough's army, and, deserting from ill-treat- 
ment, sought subsistence on the highway as a foot- 

44 Acquittal of a Popish Priest. 

But poor Father O'Grady only escaped from the 
perils of starvation and the sea, to run the^risk of 
hanging or imprisonment at home. He was seized 
on his return to Ireland, and tried on the charge of 
being a "Popish priest." A witness mounted the 
table and s wore he had heard him " say" Mass. 

a Pray, sir," said the judge, " how do you know 
he said Mass ?" 

" I heard him say it, my lord," replied the wit- 

" Did he say it in Latin ?" inquired his lordship. 

" Yes, my lord." 

" Then you understand Latin ?" 

" A little." 

" What words did you hear him use ?" 
" Ave Maria." 

" That is part of the Lord's Prayer ; is it not ?" 

" Yes, my lord," was the fellow's answer. 

" Here is a pretty witness to convict the prisoner," 
cried the judge; "he swears that Ave Maria is 
Latin for the Lord's Prayer." As the judge pro- 
nounced a favourable charge, the jury acquitted 
Father O'Grady. 1 

O'Connell was sent to school in Cork by his 
uncle Maurice at the age of thirteen. This school 
was the first establishment of the kind which had 

1 An English Protestant writer says : " For many a long year, 
Irish history is but a melancholy recital of religious intolerance and 
party vindictiveness," — Ireland under British Rule, by Lieut. -Colonel 
Jervis, R.A., M.P., London, 1868, p. 208. Again he says : " The 

O'ConnelVs School Life. 


been opened in Ireland since the Protestant Refor- 
mation. Mr. Fagan, in his "Memoir of O'Connell," 
says that he did not exhibit any extraordinary intel- 
lect at this period ; and as his own father was a 
school-companion of the Liberator, he had good op- 
portunity for correct information. 1 

O'Connell, however, considered himself to have 
been a quick child ; and as lie was not remarkable for 
modesty, he had no hesitation in saying so. On one 
occasion, when travelling with O'Neill Daunt, he 

following rewards were fixed for the discovery of Popish clergy and 
schoolmasters : 

"For an archbishop, bishop, vicar-general, or any other 
person exercising any foreign ecclesiastical jurisdic- 
tion • . . £50 

For each clergyman, and each secular clergyman, not 

registered according to 2 Anne, c. vii. . . .20 
For a schoolmaster or usher . . . . .10 
— Anne, c. iii., Irish Statutes. 

He adds : " To limit the power of a Papist to take leases for 
more than thirty-one years, made him care but little for investing in 
land till death gave him 1 a Protestant lease of the sod.' To forbid 
the education of Popish children by Papists, either abroad or at 
home, secured their continuing or remaining in happy ignorance." 
p. 215. 

1 " Daniel O'Connell was early sent by his uncle, Maurice, by 
whom he was adopted, to Mr. Harrington's school, in the great 
island of Cove, near Cork. The father of the writer was a school- 
fellow of his, and we have often heard him say, that O'Connell did 
not display any extraordinary precocity of intellect. He was, like 
Swift and Sheridan, and a thousand others who afterwards rose to 
eminence, but an ordinary scholar." — Fagan s Life of O'Connell. 
[This work was reprinted from the very type used for its original 
destination — a newspaper.] 


0* Cornell's College Life. 

made this assertion : " I was, in childhood, remark- 
ably quick and persevering. My childish propensity 
to idleness was overcome by the fear of disgrace : I 
desired to excel, and could not brook the idea of 
being inferior to others. One day I was idle, and 
my teacher finding me imperfect in my lesson, threat- 
ened to beat me. But I shrank from the indignity 
exclaiming : " Oh, don't beat me for one half hour ! 
If I haven't my lesson by that time, beat me then ! 
The teacher granted me the reprieve, and the lesson, 
rather a difficult one, was thoroughly learned." 

On another occasion, O'Connell said to O'Neill 
Daunt : "I was the only boy who wasn't beaten at 
Harrington's school ; I owed this to my attention." 

In 1791, Maurice O'Connell sent the two bro- 
thers to Flanders, intending that they should enter 
the famous Jesuit college at Liege. They sailed from 
Ireland in a brig bound for London. The captain 
undertook to land them at Dover, whence they were 
to take the packet to Ostend. 

The tide not serving when they arrived at their 
destination, they were landed in boats, and Mr. 
O' Conn ell's first acquaintance with the English shore 
was made as he stumbled upon the beach after a 
thorough submersion from a capsized boat. 

An opportunity offering in a few days, the party 
proceeded to Ostend, and thence by diligence to 
Liege, where, however, a disappointment awaited 
them. Mr. O'Connell was found to have passed the 
age when boys could be admitted as students, and 

OConnell at Douay. 


they had to retrace their steps as far as Louvain, 
there to await new instructions from home. 

The difference of disposition between the two boys 
was here strikingly shown : Maurice, the } T ounger, 
naturally enough, availed himself of his six weeks' 
unexpected holidays (the interchange of communica- 
tions between their then abiding-place and the remote 
shores of Kerry requiring that interval,) to indulge 
in all a boy's vacation amusements ; while, on the 
other hand, his brother, feeling no relish for idleness, 
attended class in one of the halls at Louvain as a 
volunteer ; and with such assiduity, that ere the arri- 
val of letters from home, for which they were wait- 
ing, he had risen to a high place in a class of one 
hundred and twenty boys. 

Their uncle's new orders were, that they should 
go to St. Omer's ; whither accordingly they pro- 
ceeded, and remained a year — viz., from early in the 
year 1701 till a similar period of 1792 — when they 
were removed to the English college of Douay for 
some months. 1 

An anecdote is told of O'Connell's journey, which 
shows, were it needed to show it, how deeply the 
minds of Irish youth were impregnated with hatred 
for England, or rather with hatred for English rule. 
It would be well if those who object to such mani- 
festations of feeling would, for one moment, put 
themselves in the place of these expatriated boys, 

1 " Memoir of O'Connell," by his Son, vol. i. p. 7. 


O'Connell and the Frenchman. 

and ask themselves how they would have felt and 
acted had Ireland been master of England, and had 
Irish law-makers compelled the scions of England's 
most ancient houses to seek education in foreign 
lands, because it was not only denied but even pro- 
hibited under the most terrible penalties in their own 
country. If such considerations were made honestly, 
we think Englishmen would lose nothing, and might 
gain a great deal. There is no possible advantage to 
be gained from wilful blindness to facts. We have 
heard of somewhat similar instances in the present 

As the O'Connells travelled in the diligence, a 
young Frenchman discovered, or supposed he had 
discovered, their nationality. He immediately com- 
menced pouring out the most violent tirades against 
England. O'Connell seemed perfectly satisfied ; and 
the Frenchman astonished at his apathy, after talking 
a long time, lost patience with the young traveller : 

" Do you hear ? Do you understand what I am 
saying, Sir ?" 

" Yes, I hear you — I comprehend you perfectly." 

" And yet you are not angry ?" 

" Not in the least." 

" How can you so tamely bear the censures I pro- 
nounce against your country ?" 

" Sir, England is not my country. Censure her 
as much as you please — you cannot offend me. I am 
an Irishman, and my countrymen have as little reason 
to love England as yours : perhaps less." 

The Kerry Peasantry. 


There is ample evidence that O'Connell distin- 
guished himself at St. Omers, He took the first 
place there in every class, probably owing to his 
proficiency in classical learning. The natives of 
Minister, and it is well known of Kerry and Cork in 
particular, were often found with Latin primers in 
their possession, and even with some fair knowledge 
of that language, at the very time that education was 
most sternly prohibited." 1 

1 An attendant of Rinuccini, who visiled Ireland as Papal Legate, 
in October 1G45, lias left some very interesting details on this sub- 
ject in a MS. addressed to Count Thomas Rinuccini, but the writer 
is supposed to have been the Dean of Fermo. He gives a graphic 
description of their arrival at Kenmare — "al porto di Kilmar" — and 
of the warm reception they met from the poor, and their courtesy — 
4 'La cortesia di quei poveri popoli dove Monsignor capito, fu in- 
comparabile." He also says: "Gran cosa, nelle niontagne e 
luoghi rozzi, a gente povero per le devastazioni fatte dei nemici 
eretici, trovai peid la nobilta della S. fede Catoliea, giache auro vifu 
uomo, o donna, o ragazzo, ancor che piccolo che non me sapesse 
rccitar il Pater, Ave, Credo, e i commandamenti, dtlla SaDta 
Chiesa." " It is most wonderful that in this wild and mountainous 
place, and a people so impoverished by the heretical enemy, I 
found, nevertheless, the noble influence of the holy Catholic faith ; 
for there was not a man or woman, or a child however young, who 
could not repeat the Our Father, Hail Mary, Creed, and the com- 
mands of Holy Church." We believe the same might be said at 
the present day of this part of Ireland. It is still as poor, and the 
people are still as well instructed in and as devoted to their faith 
now as in that century. 

A work was published in Florence, in 18-14, entitled "Xunziatura 
in Irlanda," di Gio. Battista Piinuccini. This work, which throws 
great light upon the history of the period, contains a part of the 
Riiiuccini MS. This volume also contains, in the original Italian, 


Imaginary "Hajmy Ignorance." 

It is true, indeed, that an English Protestant wri- 
ter has recently asserted that the prohibition of edu- 
cation in Ireland resulted either in the conformity of 
individuals to the state religion or in " happy igno- 
rance." But this assertion, like many another made 
by those who are utterly ignorant, though perhaps 
not always wilfully so, of the subject on which they 
write, is simply false. The instances of " confor- 
mity" are indeed rare, and few have been so bold as 
to assert that these " conformities" were conversions. 
The 'Miappy ignorance" is imaginary. If ail who 
were educated in Catholic continental colleges did 
not exhibit as brilliant manifestations of intellect as 
O'Connell, it was not because their education was 
defective, but because intellectual gifts are not 
equally distributed. 

Maurice O'Connell must have been an educated 
man himself, or he would scarcely have been so de- 
sirous of procuring educational advantages for his 
nephews. He was by no means content with sending 
them to college, at considerable expense — while they 
pursued their academic career, he took care to inform 
himself of their progress ; and the following letter to 
him from the Rev. Dr. Stapylton, the President of 
St. Omer's, is alike creditable to the boys and to 

the report presented by Binuccini to the Pope on his return from 
Irelarid. Burke nM given some extracts from the MS. in his 
"Hibernia t)6mihicaha," and Carte mentions it also; but otherwise 
these very important documents appear to nave been cfuite over- 

Early Pi 



their self-appointed guardian. It is dated January, 
1792 : 

H You desire to have ray candid opinion respecting your 
nephews ; and you very properly remark, that no hahit can be 
worse than that the instructors of youth who seek to gratify the 
parents of those under their care, by ascribing to them talents 
and qualities which they do not really possess. You add, that 
being only the uncle of these young men, you can afford to 
hear the real truth respecting their abilities or deficiencies. It 
is not my habit to disguise the precise truth, in reply to such 
inquiries as yours. You shall, therefore, have my opinion with 
perfect candour. 

" I begin with the younger — Maurice. His manner and 
demeanour are quite satisfactory. He is gentlemanly in his 
conduct ; and much loved by his fellow-students. He is not 
deficient in abilities ; but he is idle, and fond of amusement. 
I do not think he will answer for any laborious profession ; but 
I will answer for it, that he never will be guilty of anything dis- 
creditable. At least, such is my firm belief. 

With respect to the elder, Daniel, I have but one sen- 
tence to write about him, and that is— that I never was so much 
mistaken in my life as I shall be, unless he be destined to make 
a remarkable figure in society." 

" It is needless to say," observes Mr. John O'Connell, 
"that the times were as perilous for strangers as for natives, 
especially English strangers ; under which designation the un- 
happy continental custom (now at last beginning to be altered) 
of classing natives of Ireland abroad, caused Mr. O'Connell and 
his brother to be included. They had to remain, however, at 
Douay during several weeks of the Reign of Terror, not teing 
able to follow the example of other students in going home, 
owing to the interruption and delay of communications from 
Ireland. During this later period, the boys were several times 


A Fortunate Escape. 

insulted by the soldiery that passed through Douay on their 
way to and from the seat of war on the northern frontier. On 
an eminence just outside the town are the traces of a Roman 
camp, attributed to Csssar ; and here thirty-six thousand troops, 
the great majority raw boys, were for some time encamped, 
rendering residence at Douay still more dangerous and dis- 
agreeable. ' Little aristocrats/ ' young priests,' &c, were the 
mildest terms in which the unbridled soldiery saluted the boys 
Yvdiereyer they met ; and on one occasion, the soldiers, as they 
were marched through the town, heaped the fiercest execrations 
and insults upon them." 

O'Neill Daunt says : " The Bishop of Ardagli 
told me that a French captain of artillery said to him 
shortly after the irois jours de Juillet, 4 Some of us 
imagined that your O'Connell was born at St. Omer's. 
Ah! if he had been a native of our country we should 
have made him king of the French.' " 

When we recollect the fate of many French kings, 
whether reigning by legal or popular right, we cannot 
but observe that O'Connell had a fortunate escape. 

A French statesman has dared to face the scepti- 
cism of the age, or it might be more correct to say, 
has anticipated it, by writing of " God in History." 
It is not fashionable to attribute much influence to 
Providence ; but we do not profess or desire to 
follow the multitude : we would therefore surest 
that a most merciful Providence permitted O'Connell's 
residence in France while that unhappy country was 
being purged in the terrible furnace of self-created 
incendiarism. We cannot doubt that the impression 
made on his mind by what he saw, and still more by 

"Semper et TJbique Fide I is." 


what lie heard, was a powerful restraint on his 
conduct in after life and made him dread that violent 
kindling of the passions which so surely ends in dia- 
bolic crimes. 

Note. — After the full of Napoleon in 1811-15, and the restora- 
tion of the Bourbons, in the person of Louis XVIII., that monarch, 
as so mu'-h attached to the old recollections of his dynasty, was not 
unmindful of the Irish Brigade. Above all, he could not forget how, 
in 1792, he himself conveyed the final expression of the gratitude of 
his family to the representatives of the three last regiments of the 
Brigade, or those of Dillon, Walsh, and Berwick, with a 11 drapeau 
d'adieu," or farewell banner, emblematic of their national deserts, 
and accompanied by these words : 

M Gentlemen, — We acknowledge the inappreciable services that 
France has received from the Irish Brigade, in the course of the last 
100 years ; services that we shall never forget, though under an 
impossibility of requiting them. Receive this standard, as a pledge 
of our remembrance, a monument of our admiration, and of our re- 
spect ; and in future, generous Irishmen, this shall be the motto of 
your spotless flag : 

' 1G02— 1702,' 
1 Semper et ebique fidelis.' " 
The banner for the Brigade represented an Irish harp, and was em- 
broidered with shamrocks and fleurs-de-lis, or lilies. In 1811, the 
ofucers of the Old Irish Brigade in France requested the Duke of 
Fitz-James to present them to the king ; which request the Duke, 
after thanking them for the honour thereby done him, complied with, 
in these few words, " which are a summary of the Irish character, 
in all its chivalrous sublimity," says my French authority : 

" Sike, — I have the honour of presenting to your Majesty the 
survivors of the Old Irish Brigade. These gentlemen only ask for 
a sword, and the privilege of dying at the foot of the throne." 

Louis, however, was too deeply indebted to England for the re- 
covery of his crown to do anything directly opposed to the wishes of 
her government; and it particularly pressed upon him, through Lord 
Castlereagh, that there should be no restoration of an Irish Brigade 
in France. " This fact is certain," alleges a contemporary in 1814, 


The Youngest of Twenty-Two. 

" and very uncommon exertions must Lave been used to procure 
this concession from Louis ; because, independent of the general 
claims of this body on the gratitude of the French monarchy, one of 
these regiments had received a promise from the present king — that, 
in the event of his restoration, the regiment, for its fidelity, should 
be promoted to the rank of the Guards of the King." 

I have now only to conclude with notices of two venerable sur- 
vivors for many years, of the gallant corps to which they belonged — 
the one, an officer of equally high rank and merit — the other, the 
last who died on the Continent. 1. Of the former survivor of the 
old Brigade, who was uncle to the celebrated Daniel O'Connell, this 
memoir, from a member of the family, is given, with some slight 
alterations and compression : " General Daniel Count O'Connell, 
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Holy Ghost, and Colonel of 
the late 6th Regiment of the Irish Brigade in the British service, 
entered the French army at the age of 14, in the year 1757, as 
second Lieutenant in the Regiment of the Irish Brigade, commanded 
by, and called after, the Earl of Clare. He was the youngest of 
twenty-two children of one marriage, and was born in August, 1743, 
at Darrynane, in the county of Kerry, the residence of his father, 
Daniel O'Connell. His education had, at that early period, been 
confined to a thorough knowledge of both Greek and Latin : 
a knowledge which he preserved to the latest period of his life — 
as also a familiar acquaintance with the elements of the mathematics. 
He served his first campaign during the Seven Years' War in Ger- 
many, and became respected by his superior officers from his strict 
attention to all his military duties, and beloved by all his com- 
panions from the unaffected grace, gaiety, and generosity of his 
disposition. At the conclusion of the war, instead of devoting the 
hours of peace to idleness or pleasure, he dedicated them, with the 
closest attention, to the study of literature generally, but especially 
to that of the branches of military engineering. He was attached to 
the Corps chi Genie in its early formation, and soon became known 
to be one of the most scientific of the military engineers of France. 
He distinguished himself at the siege and capture of Port Mahon 
in Minorca, from the English in the year 1779, being at that time 
Major in the Regiment of Royal Swedes. He received public thanks 
for his services on that occasion, and a recommendation from the 

The ^oilier' Lieutenaixl-Colonel. 


Commander- in- Chief to the Minister of War, for promotion. That 
promotion he immediately obtained, and served at the siege of 
Gibraltar in the }*ear 1782, as Lieutenant-Colonel of his Regiment, 
the Royal Swedes, but attached to the corps of engineers. Every- 
body remembers the attack made by the floating batteries on 
Gibraltar on the 13th September 1782, and the glorious and trium- 
phant resistance of the English garrison, under General Elliott. 
Lieutenant- Colonel O'Connell was one of the three engineers to 
whose judgment the plan of attack was submitted, a few days before 
it was carried into eAect. He gave it, as his decided opinion, that 
the plan would not be successful. The other two engineers were of 
a contrary opinion, and the attack took place accordingly. The 
event justified his judgment. Upon a point of honour recognised in 
the French army, he claimed a right to share the perils of an attack, 
which was resolved upon against his opinion. When the attempt to 
storm Gibraltar was resolved on, it became necessary to procure a 
considerable number of marines to act on board the floating batteries : 
for this purpose, the French infantry was drawn up, and being in- 
formed of the urgency of the occasion, a call was made for volunteers, 
amongst the rest of course from the Royal Swedes. Lieutenant- 
Colonel O'Connell's regiment was paraded, and the men having been 
informed that he was to be employed on the service, the battalion 
stepped forward to one man, declaring their intention to follow their 
Lieutenant-Colonel. It so happened that the senior Lieutenant- 
Colonel, the Count De Ferzen, then well known as • le beau Ferzen,' 
and towards whom it was more than suspected that Marie Antoinette 
entertained feelings of peculiar preference, had arrived from Paris, 
but a short time before to join the regiment, which since his appoint- 
ment he had scarcely seen. Attributing the enthusiasm of the men 
to his appearance, he rode up and assured them that he would be 
proud to lead them. A murmur of disappointment passed along the 
line ; and, at length, some of the older soldiers ventured to declare, 
that it was not with him they volunteered, but with the other Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel, who had always commanded, and always protected 
them. With a generosity which does him honour, Ferzen imme- 
diately declared, that he would not attempt to deprive Colonel 
O'Connell of the honour he so well deserved ; but that, in making 
way for him, he would say, that he hoped when the regiment knew 


Master in Art of Drill 

so much of him, they would be equally ready to follow him. Colonel 
O'Connell was named second in command of one of the floating 
batteries, and this battery was among the first to come into action. 
He had, in the early part of the fight, a portion of his ear taken oft' 
by a ball ; about the period when the batteries began to take fire, a 
shell from the English mortars burst close to his feet, and severely 
wounded him in no less than nine places. Although almost covered 
with wounds, his recovery was not slow, and, being placed high on 
the li;:t of those recommended for promotion, he was, in the ensuing 
year, appointed Colonel commandant of a German regiment of two 
battalions of 1,000 men each, then in the French service, but belong- 
ing to the Prince of Salm-Salm. The regiment, when Colonel 
O'Connell got the command, was in the most lamentable state of 
disorganisation and indiscipline — and it was announced to him, by 
the French Minister of War, that one reason for giving him that 
regiment was the expectation that he would remedy all its disorders. 
Nor was that expectation disappointed. There was, in 1787, a 
grand review of upwards of 50,000 French infantry in Alsace, and 
it was admitted, that the Kegiment of Salm-Salm was the regiment 
in the highest state of discipline in the whole camp, and its Colonel 
received public thanks on that account. Be was soon after ap- 
pointed to the high and responsible office of Inspector- General of all 
the French Infantry, and he attained also the rank of General 
Officer. In this capacity he was intrusted with the organisation of 
the general code of military discipline, especially as relating to the 
interior regimental arrangements ; and as his suggestions and book 
of regulations were adopted into the French armies after the Revolu- 
tion, and imitated by other nations, the advantages derived from 
them are still felt by every army in Europe. We have thus traced 
his career from his entrance in the French service as a second Lieu- 
tenant. From that rank, unaided by any interest, without a patron 
or a friend, save those he attached to himself by his virtues, he rose 
to the command of a splendid regiment, and to a rank but little 
below the highest in the service of France ; and he attained that 
station, at a time when the bigotry of the Penal Code precluded him 
from holding the most insignificant commission in the British army. 
Still more brilliant prospects lay before him ; but the French Revo- 
lution, overturning thrones and 'altars, obliterated from the recollec- 

Thanks of Pitt 


tion the fate of private individuals in the absorbing nature of 
national interests which that mighty movement involved. He was, 
it may be well said, stripped of his fame and fortunes by that 
Revolution ; but he might have retained both if he could sacrifice 
bfs principles, because both Dumourier and Carnot pressed him, 
more than once, to accept the command of one of the revolutionary 
armies. He totally declined any such command ; feeling it a duty 
to remain near the person of Louis XYL, and to share, as he did, 
some of his greatest perils in the days of tumult and anarchy, until 
that ill-fated, but well-meaning monarch was hurled from his 
throne, and cast into prison. Unable any longer to serve the Bour- 
bon cause in France, General O'Connell joined the French Princes 
at Coblentz, and made the disastrous campaign of 1702, under the 
Duke of Brunswick, as Colonel of the Hussars de Berchinv. In 
1703, General O'Connell was, on his return to his family in Kerry, 
detained in London, with other French officers, by the British 
Government to lay and digest plans for the restoration of the Bour- 
bon family. Upon this occasion, he sent in a plan for the campaigu 
of 1794, which attracted so much attention, that Mr. Pitt desired an 
interview, and received with thanks many elucidations of the plan." 
Boon after, the Ministry having determined to form an Irish Brigade 
of six regiments in the British service, "this determination was 
carried into effect, and one of those regiments was placed under the 
command of General O'Connell. It was stipulated that the Colonels 
should not be raised to the rank of Generals in the British service, 
but should receive full pay for life." General O'Connell, during the 
peace of 1802, returned to France, to look after a large property to 
which his lady was entitled : he became a victim of the seizure of 
British subjects by the then First Consul, and remained a prisoner 
in France until the downfall of Napoleon and the restoration of the 
Bourbons. That event restored him to his militar}' rank in France ; 
and he enjoyed, in the decline of life, amidst the affectionate respect 
of his relations and friends, the advantage of full pay as General in 
the service of France and Colonel in the service of Great Britain — 
an advantage which circumstances can, perhaps never again produce 
for any man, but which he enjoyed with the full knowledge and 
approbation of both powers. During the peace of 1814, Genera 
O'Connell met Marshal Xey at dinner, at the house of one of the 


Christian and Patriot 

then Ministry. A good deal of conversation passed between them, 
and at length Ney stated that he had known General O'Connell be- 
fore the Revolution, and mentioned in particular having frequently 
seen him in the year 1787. " My memory," replied the General, 
" is particularly good; I have seen few officers whom I do not re- 
collect, and I do not think I could have seen a person so likely to be 
remarkable as Marshal Ney without recollecting him." " General," 
returned Ney, " you could not have remarked me; you then com- 
manded the regiment of Salm-Salm ; I was a corporal of hussars ; 
our Colonel and you were fast friends, and frequently exchanged 
guards ; and I have often, as corporal, posted and relieved the 
hussar sentinel on your tent, while one of your corporals was going 
through the same duty at my Colonel's." The Revolution of 1830 
deprived him, however, of his pay as French General. He refused 
to take the oath of fidelity to Louis Philippe, and was, of course, 
destituted. He retired to the country seat of his son-in-law, at 
Madon, near Blois — a beauteous spot on the Loire, which he had 
himself ornamented in the most exquisite style of English planting — 
and there, in his declining health, he waited with resignation the 
call of his God, which occurred on the 9th of July, 1838, he having 
then nearly completed his 90th year, being the oldest Colonel in the 
English service. " He had never, in the season of his prosperity, 
forgotten his country or his God. Loving that country with the 
strongest affection, he retained to the last the full use of her native 
language ; and, although master of the Spanish, Italian, German, 
Greek, and Latin, as well as French and English languages, it was 
to him a source of the greatest delight to find any person capable of 
conversing with him in the pure Gaelic of his native mountains. 
There never lived a more sincere friend — a more generous man. His 
charities were multiplied and continuous ; and it was the surprise of 
all who knew him, how he could afford to do all the good he did to 
his kind. He was, all his life, a practical Catholic, and had the 
comfort of dying, without a pang, amidst all the sacred and sweet 
consolations of that religion, which he had not forgotten in his youth, 
and which did not abandon him in the days of darkness and death. — 
Ilequiescat in pace. 

Chapter j^crontr. 


The French Revolution and the Irish Rebellion 
compared: Louis XIV. and George III.: English 
opinions on Irish Policy: Louis XVI. : The two 
Sheares: St. Omer's : O'Connell and the Priest- 
hood: His opinions of the French Revolution: 
Interview with Robert Owen: At Lincoln's Inn: 
Origin of Constitutionalism : Catholic Church 
Conservative: The English and Irish Catholics 
contrasted: Early Toryism: Hardy's Trial: 
Home Tooke: The Georges and the Stuarts: Rise 
of Democracy: American War: Benjamin Frank- 
lin: The Irish in America. 


1 JL 

has been more than once 
suggested tliat the Irish Re- 
bellion of 1798 was inspired 
by the French Revolution, 
which syncronised with it. That 
n some of the leaders of revolt in 
Ireland did look to France for 
assistance is a matter of history ; but 
£no two public events could have been more 
dissimilar in cause and in effect, than the 
Irish Rebellion and the French Revolution. 

In Ireland the people rebelled against 
the relentless persecutors of their faith ; in 
France, the nation trampled on and defiled 
even the very symbols of their religion. In 
Ireland, the outrages which were committed 
by the rebels, however, would have been considered 
simply as unjustifiable reprisals for atrocities which 


Close to the " Tarpeia?i Bock. 

cannot be denied, and which cannot be excused, had 
the perpetrators not been Irish. The French Revolu- 
tion was a revolt against all authority ; the Irish 
Rebellion was the cry of the oppressed against the 
oppressor— the cry of the enslaved for freedom, the 
effort which must be made sooner or later, with 
failure or with success, as God wills, for those who 
have suffered long and unjustly. 

In France, the first assembling of the tiers Stat 
looked like a pledge of national restoration and 
national freedom ; but France had no definite aim, 
though, in truth, its wants were many — and France 
had no master mind to explain or rather to compre- 
hend its needs. Mirabeau, indeed, had foretold its 
future with the prophetic utterance of keen worldly 
wisdom and acute self-interest : " There is but one 
step from the Capitol to the Tarpeian Rock." It 
was true. But unhappily the few who strove to find 
a place in its Capitol also sought to govern, and fail- 
ing, were dashed to nun down the steep precipice of 
popular odium ; there were thousands who never 
sought to rule, who only desired to be ruled justly — 
and yet, for them also, the end was death and 

If the leaders of the French Revolution steeped 
their unhappy country and their own souls in crime 
and misery, they were at least men with a policy, 
with a policy of cruelty like Robespierre, with a 
policy of selfishness like Dan ton ; but in Ireland there 
was not a single man with a policy. Yet the leaders 

The V6k Poind i. 

of Irish revolt were undoubtedly men who sacrificed 
their own interests to the popular cause. 

There were exceptions, but they were exceptions, 
and only proved the rule. In all revolutions there 
never was a knight so pure and without reproach, so 
single-minded in his purpose, so disinterested in his 
efforts, as the young scion of the lordly house of Fitz- 
gerald — the young noble, sans peur et sans rej>ruehe, 
the victim of the traitor — who died, loving, not 
wisely but all too well the unhappy land to which he 
belonged by right of consignment rather than by 
right of nativity. 

The only strict parallel between the state of 
France and the state of Ireland, at the close of the 
last century, ban be found in the condition of the 
people. The leaders of the French devolution would 
not have succeeded unless they had been supported 
by the people. We are far from desiring to maintain 
the vod' pqpttti vox Dei principle. The voice of the 
people is not always divine, but the voice of the peo- 
ple should at least meet with a patient hearing from 
those who govern the people. 

If the voice of the people had been heard either 
in France or in Ireland — or rather if the voice of the 
people had been listened to patiently, and if men who 
professed themselves able to guide and govern the 
people had taken some little pains to understand that 
voice, a bloody chapter of European history might 
have remained unwritten. 

In France, a certain stereotyped nobility was 


Without a King. 

necessary for personal or professional advancement. 
In Ireland that advancement depended on the profes- 
sion of a certain religious belief. The results were 
almost the same. 

In France, the peasantry were sold like cattle with 
the soil ; in Ireland they were legally transferred. 

In France, the old ties of feudal affection, if such 
affection had ever existed, which we very nine]! 
doubt, were shattered by ever increasing- exactions ; 
in Ireland, where such affections had existed, it was 
weakened past recal by indifference and tyrannical 
bondage of opinion. 

In Ireland, the people knew no king. The king 
of England was indeed nominally their monarch, but 
he was not the monarch of their affections. He was 
the grim, stern, and alas ! vindictive lawgiver. He 
was the power from whence emanated the decrees of 
life and death ; from whom they were compelled to 
receive a religion of which they knew nothing, except 
that it was not the religion of their fathers — and 
laws which seemed to have been passed only that they 
might live to provide abundance for their legislators 
while they themselves were starving. 1 

1 Again, I would give English opinion on the subject of English 
policy. No Irish writer has ever spoken half as severly on this sub- 
ject as an English statesman. In 1793, Charles James Fox writes 
thus of English foreign policy: " Our conduct to them [the Ameri- 
cans] as well as to the Danes, Swedes, Duke of Tuscany, and others 
who wished to be neutral, has been insufferable both for arrogance 
and injustice." — Memorial and Correspondence of Charles James Fox, 
vol. iii., p. 47. 

" For many a long year, the history of Ireland is but a melan- 

Wholesale Connscatwn. 


If Louis the Fourteenth of France alienated the 
affections of his people by his indifference, George 
the Third of England was practically unknown to his 
Irish subjects. Yet terrible as were the wrongs of 
Ireland, and oppressed as they were by years of in- 
justice, we believe few will say that the most ex- 
asperated Irish rebel would have imbrued his hands 
in the blood of his kins:. 

There was indeed one part of France which was 
exempted from the crimes, though not from the suf- 
ferings of the Revolution. A brief elance at the 
causes which exempted it. may be useful to our 
future ; and it is surely instructive. The luxuries 
of the capital had not penetrated into the Vendean 
provinces, and, what was almost the inevitable con- 

eholy recital of religious intolerance and party vindictiveness. 
William sanctioned the outlawry of three thousand nine hundred 
and twenty followers of King James in Ireland, at a time when but 
fifty-four people in England suffered for the same offence ; and, 
taking advantage of the consequent forfeitures of land, which 
amounted to 1.060,792 acres, he lavishly distributed them amongst 
his immediate friends. This act was too gross not to attract atten- 
tion ; and the English Parliament, in 1699, appointed commis- 
sioners to inquire into the matter. The following year, they re- 
ported to the House that Elizabeth Villiers. Countess of Orkney, 
had obtained 97,649 acres ; Keppel, created Lord Albermarle, 
108,000 ; Ginckle, Baron of Aughrim and Earl of Athlone, 28,480 ; 
Henri de Massue, Marquis de Rouvigny, created Earl of Galway, 
36.148 acres ; Bentinck, Earl of Portland and Lord Woodstock, 
135,000. In consequence of this report a Bill of Assumption was 
introduced into the English Parliament, and passed, much to the 
discomfiture of William ; and it is worthy of observation that a 



Vendean and Irish Peasantry. 

sequence, the relationships between the governed and 
the governing classes were based on principles of 
justice. The proprietors were resident. " They 
were constantly engaged in connexions either of 
mutual interest, or of kindly feeling with those who 
cultivated their lands." They sympathised with the 
people when they wept, they rejoiced with them 
when they rejoiced. Thus, when the peasantry else- 
where in France rose up against their landlords, those 
of La Vendee died in defending theirs. 

In Ireland in the far south, in the yet farther 
west, there were a few such landlords, and as a 

clause was inserted in this Act especially protecting such of the 
Irish as had re-obtained estates in accordance with the treaty of 
Limerick, although it was stated by the commissioners that many of 
these restitutions had been corruptly procured. The Irish Parlia- 
ment, however, was not so impartial, Taking advantage of the dis- 
pirited condition of the Roman Catholics, it enacted statutes against 
them from time to time, as insulting as they were oppressive. Any 
lands, tenements, or hereditaments, of which any Protestant was, or 
should be seized in fee-simple, absolute, or fee-tail, which by the 
death of such Protestant or his wife ought to have descended to his 
son, or other issue in tail, being Papists, were to descend to the 
nearest Protestant relation, as if the Popish heir and other Popish 
relatives were dead. The small remnant of the Roman Catholic 
gentry mustered courage enough to demand to be heard by counsel 
against the provisions of the Act, which privilege being granted to 
them, we find the curious picture of Papist counsel quoting Scripture 
and the right of common law at the bar of a Protestant Parliament, 
to urge upon it the necessity of observing solemn treaties and of not 
passing enactments which would have disgraced a pagan state." — 
Ireland under British Rale. By Lieut.-Col. Jervis, R.A., M.P. 
London, 18G8, pp. 210-215. 

A Distinction with a Difference. 


necessary consequence a few faithful followers j but 
for theni the antagonism was bitter, and the result 
misery to both oppressor and oppressed. 

It was a maxim of Sully's that the people never 
revolt from fickleness or the mere desire of change. 
One of the most eminent of English historians has 
approved this maxim, but with a nece-sary qualifica- 
tion, 1 and he might have added that the intensity of 
the result would be generally proportional to the 
intensitv of the cause. 

Burke described the state of France as " perfectly 
simple." c; It consists;' he said, " of but two classes, 
the oppressors and the oppressed ; and if the op- 
pressed became in turn the most cruel of oppressors, 
it was because the first oppressors had made the 
priests and the people formally abjure the Divinity, 
and had estranged them from every civil, moral, 
and social, or even natural and instinctive sentiment, 
habit, and practice, and had rendered them syste- 
matically savages/' 

It was principally this formal M abjuration of the 
Divinitv" which made the most striking difference 
between the conduct of the French and Irish revolu- 
tionists, and it is not a little remarkable that the men 
who were most earnest in their efforts to procure 

• 1 " Subsequent events have not falsified the maxim of Sully, 
though they have shown that it requires modification. The obser- 
vation, moreover, is true only in reference to the circumstances of 
revolutionary troubles. The people over a whole country never pass 
from a state of quiescence to one of trouble without the experience of 
practical grievance.'* — Alison's Histonj of Europe, vol. i. p. 63. 


Death of Louis XVI. 

French assistance for Ireland, were, I will not say 
Protestants, though they were nominally such, but 
rather infidels. 

When Daniel and Maurice O'Connell sailed from 
France, the two Sheares were their fellow-travellers. 
It was the same packet-boat which brought over the 
intelligence that the unfortunate Louis had died like 
a king, if he had not lived 1 like one. 

The murder of the king was necessarily the one 
subject of conversation. The Sheares were com- 
municative. They had been in Paris at the time, and 

1 Perhaps the one only scene in the life of this unhappy monarch 
in which he showed anything like kingly dignity, was that which 
occurred on the 20th June, 1792. Sansterre and the Marquis cle 
Huen had burst into the royal presence at the head of an infuriated 
mob. The men shouted " Ca ira" and amongst other banners of a 
horrible and blasphemous character, they bore one with the words, 
" The Constitution or Death !" while one demon incarnate carried a 
bloody calf's heart on the point of his pike, with the inscription round 
it, " The heart of an aristocrat." Louis was placed on a chair, which 
had been raised on a table, by a few of his faithful attendants, while 
the mob raged howling and dancing through the palace. He alone 
remained unmoved. A drunken workman handed him the red cap of 
liberty, fit emblem of the only liberty it allowed — the liberty to die, or 
blaspheme God. The king placed it on his head, and wore it for three 
hours. Had he hesitated for a moment, he would have been stabbed 
to death. His heroic demeanour, when drinking a glass of water, 
which he had every reason to believe had been poisoned, excited the 
applause even of the friends who watched him. When at length a 
deputation of the Assembly arrived, headed by Vergniaud and Isnard, 
they found the king " unshaken in courage, though nearly exhausted 
by fatigue." One of the National Guard approached him to assure 
him of his devotion. "Feel," he replied, laying his hand on his 
bosom, " whether this is the beating of a heart agitated by fear." — 
Alison, vol. ii. p. 89. 

"Love of the Cause, Sir" 


they loudly proclaimed their approval of the popular 
fury. An English gentleman continued the sub- 
ject, and at last, the brothers boasted that they had 
actually been present when the deed of blood was 

" Good heavens ! sir," exclaimed their horrified 
questioner, " what could have induced you to witness 
so horrible a spectacle !" 

" Love of the cause, sir," was the prompt reply ; 
and in truth, many of the patriots who led or aided 
in the Irish Rebellion of 1798, were men like the 
Sheares, who had no personal or relative wrongs to 
redress, but who were impregnated with the revolu- 
tionary spirit of the day, and found in Ireland the 
field for action which their restless spirits desired. 1 

^he Sheares were natives of Cork, whither the younger pro- 
ceeded in May 179S, for the purpose of organising that county. An 
energetic co-operator in this movement was a silversmith named 
Conway, a native of Dublin. The treachery of this man was so art- 
fully concealed, that his most intimate friends never suspected him. 

" If those who join secret societies," writes a Cork correspondent, 
" could get a peep at the records of patriotic perfidy kept in the Castle, 
they would get some insight into the dangerous consequences of 
meddling with them. There is a proverbial honour amongst 
thieves ; there seems to be none amongst traitors. The publication 
of the official correspondence about the end of the last century made 
some strange revelations. In Cork, there lived a watchmaker 
named Conway, one of the directory of the United Irishmen there. 
So public and open a professor of disloyal sentiments was he, that 
on the plates of his watches he had engraved as a device a harp 
without a crown. For a whole generation this man's name was pre- 
served as 1 a sufferer for his country,' like his ill-fated townsmen, 
John and Henry Sheares. The ' Cornwallis Correspondence ' (vol. 


An Omen of Success. 

The Sheares were so exultant and certain of suc- 
cess that they took little pains to conceal their pro- 
ject ; a curious example of the fatuity of those 
engaged in the " secret society" which they were so 
desirous of promoting. The very quickness of the 
passage was made a subject of remark, and taken as 
omen of success, for they had been twice wrecked 
on previous voyages, once when crossing to France, 
and once when crossing between Dublin and Park- 

But if O'Connell was a pacificator in public life, 
it would appear that in his youth he had no objection 
to settle private feuds vi et armis. Some schoolboy 
quarrel arose at St. Omer's, and he had recourse to 

iii. p. 85) reveals the fact that Conway was a double-dyed traitor ; 
that he had offered to become a secret agent for detecting the 
leaders of the United Irishmen, and that the information he gave 
was very valuable, particularly as confirming that received from a 
solicitor in Belfast, who, whilst acting as agent and solicitor to the 
disaffetced party, was betraying their secrets to the executive, and 
earning, in his vile role of informer, a pension, from 1799 to 1804, 
of £150, and the sum of £1460, the wages he received for his 

The Sheares, through nominally Protestants, were tinged with 
deistical ideas. "I heard it stated," observed Mr. Patten, " that 
when the hangman, was in the act of adjusting the noose round the 
neck of John Sheares, before proceeding to the scaffold, he ex- 
claimed, ' D — n you, do you want to kill me before my time ?' I 
could not credit it, and asked the Kev, Dr. Smith, who attended 
them in their last moments, if the statements were correct, ' I am 
sorry to say,' replied Dr. Smith, ' that it is perfectly true. I my- 
self pressed my hand against his mouth to prevent a repetition of 
the imprecation.' " — The Sham Squire ; or, the Bebellion in Ireland 
of 1798, p. 190. By W. J. Fitzpatrick, Esq., J.P., 1868. 

Adjustment of a Quarrel. 


something stronger than moral force in the assertion 
of his rights. His fellow-student was not accustomed 
to pugilistic encounters, and said so. O'Connell in- 
quired what he wished to fight with. 11 The sword, 
or pistols," replied the young Frenchman. " Then 
wait a moment," replied O'Connell — who left the hall 
only to return in a few moments and offer his oppo- 
nent the weapons he had named, begging he would 
take his choice, as it was just the same to him with 
what weapons he fought. 

The French youth declined further combat, and 
it is said that no one attempted any annoyance to 
O'Connell during the remainder of his brief residence 
at St. Omer's. 

It was at one time very frequently asserted that 
the Liberator had been intended for the priesthood. 
This mistake arose naturally from the fact of his 
having been educated at St. Omer's, and from igno- 
rance of the course of education pursued there. The 
college was originally founded for ecclesiastics, but 
there was also a separate foundation for secular 
students. 1 It is probable that the misapprehension 

Florence Corny, Archbishop of Tuam, and founder of the Irish 
College of Louvain, was one of the first to suggest and to carry out 
the idea of supplying Irish youth with the means of education on 
the Continent which they were denied at home. It is a fact, un- 
exampled in the history of nations, that a whole race should have 
been thus denied the means of acquiring even the elements of learn- 
ing, and equally unexampled is the zeal with which the nation 
sought to procure abroad the advantages from which they were so 
cruelly debarred at home. At Louvain, some of the most distin- 


O'Connell and the Church. 

was encouraged for political purposes, though O'Con- 
nell took pains to contradict it on more than one 

In a letter published in the Dublin Evening Post, 
July 17, 1828, he says: — "I was not intended for the 
Church. No man respects, loves, or submits to the 
Church with more alacrity than I do, but I was not 
intended for the priesthood." 

As O'Connell gave his opinion on the French 
Eevolution very fully to O'Neill Daunt, and as that 
opinion has been recorded by him, we shall do well 
to insert it at length. 

O'Connell was asked in the course of our after- 

guished Irish scholars were educated. An Irish press was estab- 
lished within its halls, which was kept constantly employed, and 
whence proceeded some of the most valuable works of the age, as 
well as a scarcely less important literature for the people, in the 
form of short treatises on religion or history. Colleges were also 
established at Douay, Lisle, Antwerp, Tournay, and St. Omer's, 
principally through the exertions of Christopher Cusack, a learned 
priest of the diocese of Meath. Cardinal Ximenes founded an Irish 
College at Lisbon, and Cardinal Henri quez founded a similar estab- 
lishment at Evora. It is a remarkable evidence of the value which 
has always been set on learning by the Catholic Church, that even 
in times of persecution, when literary culture demanded such sacri- 
fices, she would not admit uneducated persons to the priesthood. 
Before 1793 there were four colleges at Douay. 1st, The grand 
college for secular students called the Grands Anglais. It was pur- 
hased by the French Government in 1820, and is now used as an 
rtillery barracks. 2nd, The Scotch College, now occupied by a 
religious order. 3rd, The*|Irish College, which is completely de- 
stroyed, and the site occupied by private houses. 4th, The Bene- 
dictine' College, which still flourishes." It was built in 1768, and 
re- opened in 1818. 

The French Revolution. 


dinner table-talk, whether he had read Thiers' work 
on the French Revolution?" 

" Yes," he replied, " and I do not very much like it. 
Thiers has a strong propensity to laud every one who 
was successful, and to disparage those who did not 
succeed. The best account of the French Revolution 
is in one of the volumes of Marmontel's 1 Memoirs.' 
Certainly," continued he, u that Revolution was 
grievously needed, although it was bought at the 
price of so much blood ! The ecclesiastical abbes 
were a great public nuisance ; they were chiefly 
cadets of noble families, who were provided for with 
sinecure revenues out of the abbey lands. The 
nobility engrossed the commissions in the army, and 
both the clergy and the nobility, although infinitely 
the richest bodies in the state, were exempt from 
taxes. The people were the scapegoats — they were 
taxed for all : the burdens of the state were all thrown 
upon them, whilst its honours and emoluments were 
monopolised by the untaxed. This was a gross 
wrong — the Revolution has swept it away. It was 
highly creditable to the fidelity of the French Catholic 
clergy, that so few of them joined the enemies of 
religion at that trying time of error. I question 
whether a dozen of the French Catholic bishops 
apostatised ; and as for the vast mass of the parochial 
clergy, they afforded a most glorious and sublime 
example of devotion and faithfulness. Catholicity, 
I trust will rebound against French infidelity, as she 
is daily doing against English sectarianism." 


Interview with Robert Owen. 

He then spoke of an article in the Edinburgh 
Review, and expressed his satisfaction that the writer 
was compelled to admit that the Catholic religion is 
perennial and immortal— and as vivacious in the 
19 th century of her existence as she was the day of 
her first institution.' 7 

O'Connell's abhorrence of anything which tended 
to undermine religious influence showed itself re- 
peatedly in his conversations. The account which 
he himself gave of his interview with the secularist 
Owen, is worth recording here as an evidence : 

"'Owen called upon me,' said he, 'and told me he 
had come for my co-operation in a work of universal 
benevolence.' I replied that 4 1 should always be 
happy to aid such a work.' ' I expected no less from 
your character, Mr. O'Connell,' said Owen. ' Would 
not you wish — I am sure you would — to elevate the 
condition of the whole human race ?' ' Certainly, 
Mr. Owen,' replied I. c Would not you wish to see 
a good hat on everybody ?' ' Undoubtedly.' 'And 
good shoes ?' ' Oh, certainly.' 'And good trousers ?' 
' Unquestionably.' 'And would not you desire to see 
the whole family of man well housed and fed ?' 
' Doubtless. But, Mr. Owen, as my time is much 
taken up, may I beg that you will proceed at once to 
point out how all these desirable objects are, in your 
opinion, to be worked out ?' ' In the first place, Mr. 
O'Connell,' said Owen, ' we must educate anew the 
population of these kingdoms, and entirely -remove 
the crust of superstitious error from their minds. In 

O'Connell at Lincoln s Inn. 


fact, the whole thing called Revealed Religion must be 
got rid of.' I thought my worthy visitor was going 
too far. I rose and bowed him out. c I wish you a 
very good morning, Mr. Owen,' said I. 1 It would 
be useless to prolong our interview. I see at once 
that you and I cannot co-operate in any work, or 
under any circumstances*' n 

In 1794, O'Connell entered as a student in Lin- 
coln's Inn, London. He lodged at first in a court on 
the north side of Coventry-street. Fifty years after, 
as he passed by the place, he called the attention of a 
friend to a fishmonger's shop, saying, " That shop is 
precisely in the same state in which I remember it 
when I was at Gray's Inn. It has the same-sized 
window, the same frontage, and I believe the same 
fish I" While residing here he followed his private 
occupation of writing, but his taste for a country life 
induced him to make a change of residence in 1795. 
lie thus describes his new 7 abode in a letter to his 
brother Maurice : 

"I am now only four miles from town, and pay the same 
price for board and lodging as I should in London J but I en- 
joy many advantages here (in Chiswick) besides air and retire- 
ment. The society in the house is mixed — I mean composed 
of men and women, all of whom are people of rank and know- 
ledge of the world ; so their conversation and manners' are 
perfectly well adapted to rub off the dust of scholastic educa- 
tion; nor is there any danger of riot or dissipation, as they are 
all advanced in life — another student of lav/ and I being the 
only young persons in the house. This young man is my most 
intimate acquaintance, and the only friend I have found among 


O'ConnelVs Ambition. 

my acquaintance. His name is Bennett. He is an Irishman 
of good family connections and fortune. He is prudent and 
strictly economical. He has good sense, ability, and applica- 
tion. I knew him before my journey to Ireland. It was before 
that period our friendship commenced. So that on the whole I 
spend my time here not only pleasantly, but I hope very use- 

" The only law books I have bought as yet are the works of 
Espinasse on the trials of nisi piias. They cost me £1 10s., 
and contain more information on the practical part of the law 
than any other books I have ever met. When in Dublin, I re- 
flected that carrying any more books than were absolutely 
necessary would be incurring expense ; so I deferred buying a 
complete set of reports until my return thither. 

"I have now two objects to pursue — the one, the attain- 
ment of knowledge ; the other, the acquisition of those qualities 
which constitute the polite gentleman. I am convinced that 
the former, besides the immediate pleasure that it yields, is 
calculated to raise me to honours, rank, and fortune ; and I 
know that the latter serves as a general passport : and as for 
the motive of ambition which you suggest, I assure you that no 
man can possess more of it than I do. I have indeed a glowing 
and — if I may use the expression — an enthusiastic ambition, 
which converts every toil into a pleasure and every study into 
an amusement. 

" Though nature may have given me subordinate talents, I 
never will be satisfied with a subordinate situation in my pro- 
fession. No man is able, I am aware, to supply the total 
deficiency of ability ; but everybody is capable of improving and 
enlarging a stock, however small and, in its beginning, con- 
temptible. It is this reflection that affords me consolation. If 
I do not rise at the bar, I will not have to meet the reproaches 
of my own conscience. It is not because I assert these things 

Catholic Church Conservative. 


now that I should conceive myself entitled to call on you to 
believe them. I refer that conviction which I wish to inspire 
to your experience. I hope — nay, I flatter myself— that when 
we meet again the success of my efforts to correct those bad 
habits which you pointed out to me will be apparent. Indeed, 
as for my knowledge in the professional line, that cannot Ve 
discovered for some years to come ; but I have time in the 
interim to prepare myself to appear with great eclat on the 
grand theatre of the world." 

At this period of O'Connell's life, lie was un- 
doubtedly a Tory. His account of his conversion to 
Liberal opinions is both curious and instructive, and 
it explains an intellectual and moral difficulty which 
has perplexed many English Protestants. 

The Catholic Church lias always been conserva- 
tive both in principle and in practice : but because it 
has always set its face steadfastly against individual 
and public abuses, because it has always taken the 
part of the oppressed against the oppressor, its policy 
has been misrepresented by those who desire to 
exercise arbitrary power unchecked — and misunder- 
stood by those who are too indifferent or too pre- 
judiced to reason calmly. 

And yet one of the most eminent English Protes- 
tant historians has admitted this truth, has proclaimed 
it, has asserted it. The historian of the French 
Revolution writes thus : 

" It was the Christian Church, the parent of so many lofty 
doctrines and new ideas, which had the glory of offering to the 
world, amidst the wreck of ancient institutions, the model of a 
form of government which gives to all classes the right of suf- 

78 The Church and Civilization. 

frage, by establishing a system which may embraee the re- 
motest interests, which preserves the energy and avoids the 
evils of democracy — which maintains the tribune, and shuns 
the strife of the forum. 

" The Christian councils were the first examples of represen- 
tative assemblies ; there were united to the whole Roman world 
there a priesthood which embraced the civilised earth assembled 
by means of delegates to deliberate on the affairs of the universal 
Church. When Europe revived, it adopted, the same model. 
Every nation by degrees borrowed the customs of the Church, 
to her the sole depository of the traditions of civilisation. 

" It was the religion of the vanquished people, and the clergy 
who instructed them in this admirable system, which flourished 
in the councils of Nice, Sarclis, and Byzantium, centuries before 
it was heard of in Western Europe, and which did not arise in 
the woods of Germany, but in the catacombs of Rome, during 
the sufferings of the primitive Church." 1 

1 Alison s History of Europe, vol. iii. p. 176. — Elsewhere he 
says : " The councils of the Church had, so early as the sixth 
century, introduced over all Christendom the most perfect system of 
representation. . . . Every Christian priest, however humble 
his station, had some share in the practice of these great assemblies, 
by which the general affairs of the Church were to be regulated.' 
In truth this system of conservative and representative government 
has continued in the Catholic Church with unbroken regularity from 
the first council at Antioch, where there was "much disputing" 
until Peter spoke, until the last council at Rome, where there was 
also much disputing until the voice of the Church spoke through 
the majesty of her pastors. Even the infidel Voltaire admitted that 
the Popes restrained princes, and protected the people. The Bull 
In Ccena Domini contained an excommunication against those who 
should levy new taxes 'upon their estates, or should increase those 
already existing beyond the bounds of right. For further informa- 
tion on this subject, see Balmez, European Civilisation, passim. M. 
Guizot says : " She [the Church] alone resisted the system of 

Loyalty of Catholic*. 


The Catholic is conservative bv religious belief ; 
but by conservatism, he understands the protection 
and the preservation of right, the protection of human 
nature against itself by the enforcement of divine law. 

How much, how often, and how severely Catholics 
have suffered for conservative principles, let history 
relate. In Ireland they were faithful to the most 
faithless of monarchs. In England they were faith- 
ful to the most thankless, and one of the most un- 
worthy of kings ; and this not from any preference 
for the foolish James or the wanton Charles, but 
simply from active belief in the divine principle, 
" Render to Crcsar the things that are Caesar's" — from 
the divine principle of eternal right and justice. It 
may be objected, it has been objected, that Catholics 
hiive rebelled against their temporal sovereign, and 
the Irish Rebellion will be quoted as an evidence 
that Catholics can be, and have been, not only demo- 
cratic, but even infidel. The exception proves the 
rule. Catholics have never rebelled against any 
temporal sovereign, unless such rebellion has been 
justified by the necessity for the conservation of the 
power of One higher than any earthly monarch ; and 
such resistances to any lawful constituted human rule 
have been rare. 1 

castes ; she alone maintained the principle of equality of competi- 
tion ; she alone called all legitimate superiors to the possession of 
power." — Hist. Gen. de la Civilization en Europe, Lect. 5. 

1 It is difficult to induce some persons to consider any such 
question calmly and dispassionately. Englishmen who think at all 


The Clergy and the Revolution. 

In France it was not Catholics, but those who 
had long ceased to be Catholics, who were guilty of 
regicide, and of crimes whose atrocity shocked the 
whole civilised world. The men who dragged Louis 
XVI. to the scaffold, openly renounced all religious 
belief. The men who murdered Charles made a 
pitiful boast of their religion. 1 

In England, except during times of special perse- 
cution, which were comparatively rare, Catholics did 

on the subject, are generally loud in their assertions of Irish dis- 
loyalty. Now there is a very wide difference between loyalty to a 
sovereign and approbation of all his acts, or the acts performed by 
his government. Every English monarch who has ruled Ireland 
has been treated with respect, and even those Irish papers which 
write most strongly on the subject of English misgovernment, in- 
variably respect the person of the sovereign. When the English 
nation rebelled against James II., he took refuge in Ireland; how 
he repaid Irish loyalty is but too well known and remembered in 

1 In France, though many of the clergy were corrupted by the 
deluge of evil which inundated the land, where, and because, all 
religious interests were withdrawn, there were yet a much larger 
number who were faithful. " The clergy in France were far from 
being insensible to the danger of this flood of irreligion which 
deluged the land." — Alisons History of Europe, vol. i. p. 89. 
Again "In a general assembly of the clergy, held in 1770, the most 
vigorous resistance against the multiplication of irreligious works 
were made. ' Impiety,' they said "is making inroads alike on God 
and man ; it will never be satisfied till it has destroyed every power 
divine and human.' " — p. 87. " It is a remarkable proof how 
completely ignorant the most able persons in Europe were of the 
ultimate effects of this irreligious spirit, that the greatest encourage- 
ment which the sceptical philosophy of France received was from 
the despots of the north — Frederick the Great and the Empress 
Catherine." — p. 88, 


not suffer from political or legal injustice. It is true, 
indeed, that they were denied the rights of citizens ; 
but they were tolerated, especially when heavy fines 
could be obtained to replenish the coffers of needy or 
licentious monarchs. The fewness of their number 
protected them, and what was of still more impor- 
tance, united them. The very hopelessness of suc- 
cess, if they attempted to interfere in public affairs, 
kept them silent. Agitation would have been worse 
than imprudent, and they had so long learned to keep 
silence, to submit, to live apart from their fellows, to 
believe peace to be the one thing above all others to 
be desired, that they at last came to believe any 
demand for redress to be dangerous, if not positively 
wrong ; and any agitation to be imprudent to the 
highest degree, if not positively culpable. 

Hence the English Catholics, and especially the 
English Catholics of the upper classes, were neces- 
sarily conservative, and hence also many Irish 
Catholics of the upper classes, from association or 
intermarriage with English Catholics, became conser- 
vative also. Their few dependants believed as they 
believed, and thought as they thought. They also 
intermarried with each other, and lived apart, and 
they also feared all change, because, as a general 
rule, change was productive of evil. 

But with the great mass of Irish Catholics, with, 
in fact, all of the middle or poorest class who thought, 
there was a little love for Conservatism. Their state 
was such until the close of the last century (and it is 



Irish Catholic Politics. 

of that period we write), that however their condition 
might be improved by any change, it could scarcely 
be injured. 

They had none of the English Catholic traditional 
love of, or reverence for monarchy. How, indeed, 
could they have it ? They were told that a certain 
person was king of England, but whether that person 
was a William or a George was quite the same to 
them. It was a sound, and nothing more. 

They heard indeed the name of their king, but 
they never saw him, they never even felt his influence. 
A royal birth or death was neither a subject of grief 
nor sorrow. They heard that such events occurred, 
perhaps long after they had happened, but for all 
practical interest or difference which it made to them, 
the birth or death of a New Zealander would have 
been just the same. 

But when they complained from time to time 
against injustice, or when they rebelled against it, 
then indeed they were made to feel the power of this 
distant sovereign, of this individual in whose name 
vindictive and cruel punishments were inflicted : 
certainly they had no reason to uphold monarchy, 
to revere English law, or to desire to preserve Eng- 
lish government, as it showed itself to them. They 
could not be conservative. 1 

The influence of the Catholic faith, and the power 
of the Catholic priesthood alone prevented the Irish 

1 When the Irish were not allowed even to rent a small piece of 
land, they called the little plot of earth which could not be denied 

The Worst Church in Christendom. S3 

Celt from avenging his wrongs, not indeed with the 
ferocity of a Communist, for the Irish Celt has no 
taint of cruelty in his nature, but with the unflinch- 
ing vengeance of a Roman plebeian. 

It was precisely because many English Catholics 
failed to see the difference between their own position 
and the position of their Irish brethren, that they 
looked coldly upon O'Connell's career, that they 
would rather have kept their chains around them a 
little longer than have accepted release by the means 

them, a 11 Protestant lease of the sod." It was in allusion to this 
penal law that the Irish rhymer made the attendants at the felon's 
wake sing : 

" But when dat we found him quite dead, 
In de dustcase we bundled Ins carcase, 
For a Protestant lease of the sod." 

—Sketches of Ireland Sixty Years Ago, p. 89. Dublin, 1847. 

Colonel Jervis says : " To hold out the bribe of the father's pro- 
perty to conforming children, brought into play every ill feeling of 
which man is capable — impiety, ingratitude, hatred between father 
and son, brother and brother. But the penal law has never been 
found which could convert mankind to any one doctrine ; on the 
contrary, persecution breeds obstinacy, and the ignorant sinner be- 
comes elevated into the proud martyr. Besides, in Ireland there 
were still no means of exemplifying to the massos the greater wisdom 
of the Church of England. The Protestant Lord Clarendon com- 
plained of the absence of the bishops in England, and of the dis- 
graceful state of their dioceses. Queen Mary, as head of the Church, 
wrote to William when in Ireland to take care of it, 1 for everybody 
agrees it is the worst in Christendom.' Many years later the illus- 
trious Bishop Berkeley gave a similar account. Conformity meant 
not a belief in Church of England doctrines, but a disbelief in re- 
vealed religion." — Ireland under British Rule, p. 217. No one could 
desire the conservation of such a state of government, or manifest 
attachment to it. 



O'Connell a Tory in his youth. 

which, he used to obtain it for them. And yet, as 
we have said, O'Connell began life as a Conservative. 
His son thus describes the time and manner of the 
change : 

"On the 21st December, 1793, the day the un- 
fortunate Louis was beheaded at Paris, the brothers 
set out in a voiture for Calais, which they reached 
early on the morning of the 23rd ; not, however, 
without some parting compliments from their friends 
the soldiery — who went so far as several times to 
strike the head of the vehicle with their musket 
stocks. The English packet-boat, aboard of which 
the boys proceeded with as little delay as possible, 
was presently under weigh ; and as she passed oat 
of the harbour, Mr. O'Connell and his brother 
eagerly tore out of their caps the tricolour cockades, 
which the commonest regard for personal safety 
rendered indispensable to be worn by every one in 
France ; and, after trampling them under foot, flung 
them into the sea. This boyish outburst of natural 
execration of the horrors which had been committed 
under that emblem, procured them a few of those 
sonorous curses which only a Frenchman can give, 
from some fishermen rowing past at the moment, by 
whom the cockades were rescued from the waves 
and placed in their hats with all becoming reverence. 
It is not to be wondered at that Mr. O'Connell 
should, when, in 1794, he became a law-student in 
Lincoln's Inn, be in a state very nearly approaching, 
as he has often said, to that of a Tory at heart. 

Conversion to Popular Opinions, 


" So strong and ardent were these feelings, that, 
the celebrated trial of Hardy and others having 
occurred about this time (viz., October, 1794), Mr. 
O'Connell attended it daily, certainly not more for 
the mere interest of the thing, or benefit of the law- 
arguments to him as a student, than for the gratifica- 
tion of anti-revolutionary feeling, at seeing a supposed 
offender against law and social order in a fair way of 
receiving condign punishment. 

u To Mr. O'Connell's astonishment he found, ere 
the trial had proceeded far, that his sentiments were 
last changing to those of pity towards the accused, 
and of something of self-reproach for having desired 
his conviction and punishment ; and, each successive 
day revealing more and more the trumped-up and 
iniquitous nature of the prosecution, 1 the process of 
change in Mr. O'Connelfs mind ended by fully and 

1 This famous trial excited an immense sensation at the time. 
John Horne Tooke had been, and according to English law was a 
clergyman, having embraced the ecclesiastical state to please his 
father, and very much against his own inclination. He was educated 
at Eton, and afterwards at St. John's College, Cambridge. In 1773, 
he studied law. While a student he assisted Dr. "William Tooke 
upon an enclosure-bill, a subject which no doubt led him to consider 
popular politics, or rather to consider politics from the people's point 
of view. He took up the American War with more energy than 
discretion, condemned the conduct of the government, and made a 
subscription for the widows and orphans of those Americans who 
had been 44 murdered by the king's troops at Lexington and Con- 
cord." He was the author of the elaborate "Diversions of Purley." 
John Thelwall was also a writer of seme reputation. He retired to 
Wales after his acquittal, and died at Bath in 1834. 


Nonsense about Conspiracy. 

finally converting him to popular opinions and 
principles, and confirming his natural detestation of 
tyranny, and desire of resisting it." 

Even Fox had been disgusted with this trial, and 
saw clearly the effect it would be likely to produce 
on the public mind. He writes thus to Lord Holland, 
June 23, 1794 : 

" I think, of all the measures of Government, this 
last nonsense about conspiracy is the most mis- 
chievous, and at the same time the most foolish. 
How truly have they made good that parallel you 
drew between the Jacobins of France and the Crown 
party here ! If they succeed in committing and hang- 
ing any of these fellows whom they have taken up, 
it will be considered as a corroboration of the con- 
spiracy, and a pretence for more extraordinary 
powers ; if they fail, as I rather think they will, then 
the consequence that always belongs to men who 
have been falsely accused and acquitted will attach 
to Home Tooke, Thelwall, and others like them — 
and possibly that danger which was only imaginary 
may in time become real by those wise manoeuvres 
which, unaccountably to me, my old friends think 
calculated to dispel it." 

The state of England at this period was scarcely 
less a subject of apprehension to public men than the 
state of Ireland. The most fatal and disastrous 
calamities might have happened in that country if 
timely concession had not been made. In Ireland, 
rebellion was wilfully and advisedly excited. In 

The Qeorges and their Ministers. 87 

England every reasonable effort was made to con- 
ciliate. This is a fact which has been completely 
overlooked in considering the history of the period, 
when studied in connexion with Irish politics. 

George III. ascended the throne in the- year 1760. 
His reign was an eventful one, but the circumstances 
which made it such were not turned to the national 
advantage. It may be questioned, indeed, whether 
the stolid Hanoverian princes were capable of a 
large or enterprising policy : that they were capable 
of mistrusting ministers who were possessed of larger 
minds than their own and of following ministers 
who were too pliant for effective service, the con- 
temporary history of the period sufficiently proves. 1 

1 Perhaps, however, some of his ministers were as much to blame 
for facility of acquiescence. Lord North's character is thus described 
by his own daughter, Lady Charlotte Lindsay : — " His character in 
private life was, I believe, as faultless as that of any human being 
can be ; and those actions of his public life which appeared to have 
been the most questionable, proceeded, I am firmly convinced, from 
what one must own was a weakness, though not an unamiable one, 
and which followed him through his life— the want of power to resist 
the influence of those he loved.'' — Appendix to Lord Brougham's 
*t Historical Sketches of Statesmen who flourished in the reign of 
George III" Lord North was made Chancellor of the Exchequer 
in his thirty-sixth year. His parliamentary career commenced in 
1754, and during Mr. Pitt's first administration he occupied a seat 
at the Treasury Board. He was removed by the Eockingham 
ministry in 1765, but came' into office again with Lord Chatham as 

A few days only before he became Prime Minister, one of his 
keenest opponents, Mr. Burke, thus described him in the House of 
Commons: — ''The noble lord who spoke last, after extending his 


Democratic Tendency of the Age. 

Two great events of the age, the French Revolu- 
tion and the revolt of the American colonies, reacted 
on English society, and on English social life. The 
monarchs who preceded George III. were unpopular • 
partly because they were devoid of those personal 
attractions which fascinated the followers of the 
house of Stuart, and partly because they neither 
understood nor took much pains to understand, their 
English subjects. 

The severity with which social crimes were 
punished only tended to increase them, and de- 
veloped political agitations for which there was 
already sufficient cause. The nation had ceased to 
speak of or believe in the divine right of kings. 
The person of the sovereign was no longer an object 
of respect. This democratic tendency of thought, 
reacted upon by the revolutionary spirit of France, 
which began by denying divine right, and ended 
by denying human justice, had its culmination in 
England in a personal attack on the king, of which 
O'Connell was an eye-witness. Of this attack we 
shall speak more fully after entering into the details 
of the circumstances which preceded it. 

George III., however, had two advantages, of 
which, however, he was unfortunate enough not to 
have made the most. He was born in England, and 
he had just sufficient wit to see that this was a claim 

right leg a full yard before his left, rolling his flaming eyes, and 
moving his ponderous frame, has at length opened his mouth." — 
Speech of January 9, 1770, " Pari. Hist." xvi. p. 720. 

George 111. and Royal Supremacy, 


on the fealty of his English subjects. His private 
life was virtuous, and formed a contrast to that of 
the majority of his predecessors. 1 

Unfortunately for himself, he was under the in- 
fluence of the Earl of Bute. This influence was one 
which had taken its rise in his early life, and under 
somewhat questionable circumstances. The king is 
said to have written his first speech to Parliament 
himself, but it was alleged that Lord Bute amended 
it, and substituted the word Briton for Englishman. 2 
This, certainly, gratified the Scotch party, if it did 
not merit the approbation of the Tories. The Whigs 
had been fifty-five years in office, but Tory prin- 
ciples, such as they then were, suited the king, who 
had wooden ideas on the subject of royal supremac}-, 
for it was not the supremacy of divine right, but the 
supremacy of a wooden, unvarying rule. 

Eiots began early in this reign. The Whigs 

1 " "When George II. had to receive the Holy Eucharist, his 
main anxiety seems to have been that the sermon on that day might 
be a short one, since otherwise he -was, to use his own words, ' in 
dauger of falling asleep and catching cold.' " — Lord Afahon, Hist. 
v. p. 54. Bishop Newton says (Works, i. p. 76, ed. 1787), that he 
always took care in his sermons at Court to come within the com- 
pass of twenty minutes ; but after a hint as to brevity, " on the great 
festivals of the Church, he never exceeded fifteen, so that the King 
sometimes said to the Clerk of the Closet, ' A good short sermon.' " 

2 " I have heard it related," says Lord Mahon, iv. p. 212, " but 
on no very clear or certain authority, that the King had in the first 
place written the word ' Englishman,' and that Lord Bute altered it 
to ' Briton.' " The King's speech was admired by Frederick the 
Great.-r Mitchell Papers, vol. v. No. 201, p. 148. 


The Worst English Government. 

believed that Bute intended to undermine their 
power, and a beer-tax, of which he got the credit, 
made him unpopular with the people. There was a 
disturbance in the play-house the year after the 
king's accession. 1 

The Bute administration lasted just ten months, 
and the Scotch lord went out of office, having made 
a peace which was unpopular because he made it, 
and leaving his own unpopularity as a bequest to his 

His family said that he retired from office for the 
sake of his personal safety ; his own account of the 
matter was that he was afraid of involving his royal 
master in his ruin. 2 

The Grenville administration followed, and the 
king found himself lectured in his closet, and snubbed 

1 A few days after Lord Bute was sworn in to the Privy Council, 
a handbill was affixed to the Koyal Exchange, with these words : — 
" No petticoat government, no Scotch favourites, no Lord George 
Sackville." A joke went round the Court whether the King would 
have " Scotch coal, Newcastle coal, or Irish coal." 

2 " The alarms of Lord Bute's family about his personal safety 
are reported here to be the immediate cause of his sudden abdica- 
tion." — Memoirs of RochingJiam, vol. i. p. 165. — " Single in a 
Cabinet of my own forming : no aid in the House of Lords to 
support me, except two Peers (Denbigh and Pomfret) ; both the 
Secretaries of State (Lords Egremont and Halifax) silent ; and the 
Lord Chief Justice (Mansfield), whom I myself brought into office, 
voting fur me and yet speaking against me — the ground I tread 
upon is so hollow that I am afraid not only of falling myself, but of 
involving my royal master in my ruin. It js time for me to re- 
tire. " — Adoljriius, vol. i. p. 117. See also " The Correspondence of 
George III. aud Lord North," vol. i. p. lxxi. 

Inauguration of Civil War. 


in his most innocent pursuits. Macaulay character- 
ised this administration as the worst which ever 
governed England since the Revolution. The king 
bore the lectures as best he could, but he could not 
get even a small sum of money to purchase some 
fields near the Queen's House. 

The Rockingham administration succeeded, and 
its members treated their sovereign u with decency 
and reverence but Pitt could not work with them, 
and they could not work without Pitt. 

In 1763, on the 14th of March, George IIL 
recommended a proper compensation to be made to 
the Americans for their expenses in the war of 1756. 
Almost on that very day twelvemonths, Mr. Grenville 
brought forward his unfortunate resolution (9th 
March, 1764), which inaugurated the civil war. 
" That towards defraying the said expenses, it may 
be proper to charge certain stamp-duties on the said 
colonies and plantations." In February, 1765, this 
resolution passed into a law. The law passed with 
little anticipation of its fatal results. Burke sat in 
the gallery listening to the speeches, and declared he 
never heard " a more languid debate." The House 
of Lords did not even trouble themselves to debate. 

The truth was, that English senators looked on 
the American colonies as a dependency which they 
could treat as they pleased. They forgot that the 
descendants of the sturdy race of men who fled from 
England to escape religious and political oppression 
were scarcely likely to submit to it in their adopted 


Mismanagement of the Colonies. 

country. They forgot that the descendants of such 
men were likely to be thinkers — to be men who 
would know their own interests. 

It was a brief history certainty, but it was none 
the less significant. 

The English government relied too much on the 
possible effects of their traditional reverence for that 
land from which they had expatriated themselves. 
That reverence did exist, but it was merely tradi- 
tional. The moment the tradition was weakened by 
the stern logic of facts, its shattered links fell to the 
ground, and never again re-united. 

There were few men in England who grasped 
the difficulties of the case, who had sufficient intellect 
to look beyond the present, sufficient self-sacrifice to 
forego present gain when it was sure that it must be 
purchased at the cost of future loss. 

Burke indeed did his best. He warned the 
Government that they were treating with an in- 
telligent people, and with a people who not only 
loved justice, but thoroughly understood law, 1 a 

1 Burke, speaking of the education of the colonists, said : "I 
have heen told by an eminent bookseller, that in no branch of his 
business, after tracts of popular devotion, were so many books as 
those on the law exported to the plantations. The colonists have 
now fallen into the way of printing them for their own use. I hear 
that they have sold nearly as many of Blackstone's ' Commentaries' 
in America as in England. General Gage marks out this disposition 
very particularly in a letter on your table. Pie states that all the 
people in his government are lawyers, or smatterers in law ; and 
that in Boston they have been enabled, by successful chicane, wholly 

Contempt for A merica. 


people " who snuffed the approach of tyranny." 
Chatham did his best also, but the tide had set in 
the wrong direction ; and who could control an 
obstinate king and ministers, some of whom were 
self-sufficient, and some of whom were self-inte- 
rested ? 

But the public were not satisfied with contempt 
for American intellect. 1 There was open contempt 
for American military power, and both public and 
private contempt was heaped on Franklin — one of 
America's greatest men. Attorney-Generals have 
not always distinguished themselves by prudence, 
but few men who have held that position in England 

to evade many parts of one of your capital penal constitutions. . . . 
This study renders men acute, inquisitive, dextorous, prompt in 
attack, ready in defence, full of resources. In other countries the 
people, more simple, and of a less mercurial cast, judge of an ill 
principle in government only by an actual grievance ; here they an- 
ticipate the evil, and judge of the pressure of the grievance by the 
badness of the principle. They augur misgovernment at a distance, 
and Bnuff the approach of tyranny in every tainted breeze." 

1 In the debate of lGth March, 1775, Lord Sandwich said : " The 
noble lord [Camden] mentions the impracticability of conquering 
America. I cannot think the noble lord can be serious on this 
matter. Suppose the colonies do abound in men, what does that 
signify ? They are raw, undisciplined, cowardly men. I wish that, 
instead of 40,000 or 50,000 of these half-bred fellows, they would 
produce in the field at least 200,000, the more the better, the easier 
would be the conquest." Then he related an anecdote of Sir Peter 
Warren, and continued : " Believe me, my lords, the very sound of 
a cannon will carry them, in his [Sir Peter's] words, as fast as their 
feet could carry them." — See "Life and Times of C. J. Fox," by 
Earl Piussell. 


Benjamin Franklin. 

have stultified themselves or their country so com- 
pletely as Wedderburn, one of the Solicitor-Generals 
who ruled the legal destinies of England in the reign 
of George til. 

Benjamin Franklin was the son of a Boston 
merchant. He began life as an apprentice to his 
father's business, though it is said he was originally 
intended for the ministry in some religious per- 
suasion. But the lad abhorred trade, and at last 
obtained service with his brother, a printer. After a 
time he removed to Philadelphia. Here he was 
noticed by the English governor, Sir William Keith, 
and it is said that he was deceived by him. Possibly 
Sir William only promised more than he could per- 

The result was, Franklin's removal to England as 
early as 1725, when he entered as a journeyman in 
the well-known and time-honoured establishment of 
Messrs. Cox and Wyman. He returned again to 
America, where he married a rich widow, and 
published the famous "Poor Richard's Almanack." 
In 1757 he was sent to England as a delegate for 
Pennsylvania. Fie returned once more to his native 
land, and in 1764 and 1766 he was examined at the 
bar of the English Flouse. 

The members were anxious to prove that the 
American colonies were contumacious, but ' all evi- 
dence goes to prove that they were not, and that 
they did not desire separation from England until 
they found that England compelled them to revolt, 

Washington on the Colonies. 


and left them no other alternative. Franklin de- 
clared that " the authority of Parliament was allowed 
to be valid in all laws, except such as should lay in- 
ternal taxes : that it was never disputed in laying- 
duties to regulate commerce : that the Americans 
would never submit to the Stamp Act, or to any 
other tax on the same principle : that North America 
would contribute to the support of Great Britain, if 
engaged in a war in Europe." 

Washington wrote thus : u Although vou are 
taught to believe that the people of Massachusetts 
are rebellious, setting up for independency and what 
not, give me leave, my good friend, to tell you that 
you are abused, grossly abused. This I advance 
with a degree of confidence and boldness which may 
claim your belief, having better opportunities of 
knowing the real sentiments of the people you are 
among, from the leaders of them, in opposition to the 
present measures of Administration, than you have 
from those whose business it is not to disclose 
truths, but to misrepresent facts, in order to justify 
as much as possible to the world their own conduct. 
Give me leave to add, and I think I can announce it 
as a fact, that it is not the wish or interest of that 
government, or any other upon this continent, 
separately or collectively, to set up for indepen- 
dence ; but this you may at the same time rely on, 
that none of them will ever submit to the loss of 
those valuable rights and privileges which are 
essential to the happiness of every free state, and 

96 Dying Testimony of Lord Chatham. 

without which life, liberty, and property are rendered 
totally insecure." 1 

In the last debate of the Lords attended by 
Franklin, March 16th, 1775, he heard American 
courage, American religion, American intellect, 
branded as cowardice, hypocrisy, and dulness. " We 
were treated," he says, " as the lowest of mankind, 
and almost of a different species from the English, of 
Great Britain ; but particularly American honesty 
was abused by some of the Lords, who asserted that 
we were all knaves, and wanted only by this dispute 
to avoid paying our debts." 

An eminent English writer says : "On this 
occasion a few tongues helped to dismember an 
empire. Chatham's prophetic eye had discerned, 
months before this memorable debate, the issue of 
such zealotry. And in the month of November, 
1776, when America was ringing with the Declara- 
tion of Independence, and England was exasperated 
by what it considered as the sin of witchcraft, the 
Earl, being then very sick at Hayes, and not ex- 
pecting to recover, solemnly charged his physician, 
Dr. Addington, to bear testimony that he died with 
his opinions respecting America unchanged. He 
renewed a former prediction, that unless England 
changed her policy, France would espouse the cause 
of the Americans. France, he said, only waited till 
England was more deeply engaged in this 1 ruining 

1 Spark's Life of Washington, vol. i. p. 130. 

Taxation no Tyranny."' 


war against herself in America, as well as to prove 
how far the Americans, abetted by France indirectly 
only, may be able to make a stand, before she takes 
an open part by declaring war upon England.'" 1 

Every one, to speak broadly, was against America ; 
certainly those who defended her cause could be 
easily counted ; but it was unfortunate that the 
multitude were not a little more reserved in their 
( xpressions, that they so openly expressed their scorn 
lor, and depreciation of an enemy who overcame 
them so easily. 2 

They forgot that contempt is not argument, and 
they forgot also " what extraordinary obstacles a 
small band of insurgents may surmount in the cause 
of liberty." 3 

1 George the Third and Lord North, vol. ii. p. 9. 

2 Johnson, the lexicographer, had a share in exciting the popular 
fouling also, lie wrote a pamphlet entitled " Taxation no Tyranny," 
but he forgot to say anything about the necessity for justice in taxa- 
tion. He said : " One of their complaints is not such as can claim 
much commiseration from the softest bosom. They tell us that wo 
have changed our conduct, and that a tax is now laid by Parliament 
on those which [sic] were never taxed by Parliament before. To 
this we think it may be easily answered that the longer they have 
been spared, the better they can pay." " By a similar process of 
arguing," observes Mr. Daunt, " Hampden might be shown to have 
been in arrear for ship-money, and Prynne for ears." 

All kinds of stories went the round in England on the subject of 
American incompetence, moral and physical. Farces were enacted 
in the theatres in which tailors and cobblers were described as 
samples of American soldiers. A young American officer who was 
present on one occasion, shouted out from his box, f* Hurrah ! but 
Britain is beaten by tailors and cobblers." 

3 Speech in the debates. 



Declaration of Independence. 

The American Congress held its first sittings at 
Philadelphia on the 4th of September, 1774. The 
members were willing to make peace, but they wisely 
prepared for war. The result is too well known to 
need further record. The "tea tax" was but the 
last attempt to fetter a people who were determined 
to be free, and who carried out their determination. 
The Declaration of Independence was signed on the 
4th July 1776, by Adams, Franklin, and Jefferson — 
and America became a nation and the home of the 
exiled Celt. To her and to them we s&y—Esto 

Thus we find America free at the birth of 
O'Connell, and at the same time w T e find the first 
indications of a union in feeling and principle 
between Ireland and America. It is a subject which 
ought to be of considerable interest to every English- 
man — which is of the very deepest interest to every 
Irishman. If another war should break out between 
America and England — and with the pressure of the 
Irish vote on American politics, such an event might 
not require even the settlement of " Alabama," or any 
other claims, to precipitate it — there can be no doubt 
that millions of expatriated Irishmen would join in 
the conflict with something more than ordinary 
military ardour. 

If, as we shall presently show, England was com- 
pelled to grant some trifling instalments of justice to 
Ireland, when threatened on all sides by peril at the 
close of the last century, it would be but common 

America Appeals to Ireland. 


prudence on her part to make Ireland forget her past 
wrongs and her present sorrows. 

One of the things not generally known, or, if 
known, not generally considered, in connexion with 
American independence, is the Address to the People 
of Ireland which was issued by Congress. They 
appeal to Ireland because they are " desirous of the 
good opinion of the virtuous and humane." 

" TVe are desirous of the good opinion of the 
virtuous and humane. We are peculiarly desirous 
of furnishing you with the true state of our motives 
and objects, the better to enable you to judge of our 
conduct with accuracy and determine the merits of 
the controversy with impartiality and precision. — 
Your Parliament had done us no wrong. You had 
ever been friendly to the rights of mankind ; and we 
acknowledge with pleasure and gratitude that your 
nation has produced patriots who have nobly dis- 
tinguished themselves in the cause of humanity and 

Another thing not generally known, or not suffi- 
ciently considered, is, that some of the leading men 
in the American revolt were Irish. Even then some 
few celts had found their way to the land in which 
they were to obtain such numerical strength at a 
future day. 

Thompson, the secretary of Congress, was Irish. 
He had been agitating against England for ten years. 
Franklin corresponded with him frequently, and 
wrote to him from London, " The sun of liberty is 


The u Ostrich-Egg. 

set ; we must now light up the candles of industry." 
Thompson's reply was significant, " Be assured we 
shall light up torches of a very different kind." 

Montgomery was an Irishman. He captured 
Montreal, and died before Quebec. 1 

O'Brien was an Irishman, and commanded in the 
first naval engagement with England. 

On the 2nd February, Walpole writes to Mann : 
" We have no news public or private ; but there is 
an ostrich-egg laid in America, where the Bostonians 
have canted three hundred chests of tea into the 
ocean, for they will not drink tea with our Parlia- 
ment. . . . Lord Chatham talked of conquering 
America in Germany ; I believe England will be 
conquered some day in New England or Bengal." 

1 See Burns' spirited lines : 

" And yet what reck ! he at Quehec, 
Mont gomerrj -like did fa', man, 
Wi' sword in hand before his hand, 
Amang his enemies a', man." 

Chapter (Tbirb. 



Political Troubles in England: Attack on the King : 
Fondness for Field Sports: Fever: First Visit to 
Dublin: English Policy with Ireland: Forced 
Attempt at Legislative Justice: Causes and 
Character of the Irish Rebellion : G rattan : Lord 
Charlemont : Ireland in Arms: Alarm in Eng- 
land: Wants of Ireland: Mr. Fox: Repeal 
of Act VI. Geo. I. : Causes of the Ruin of 
Irish Independence: English Bribery: Grattan's 

■ ■ ■ ' 

troubles which were ex- 
cited in England by the 
American war continued for 
several years. On the 23rd 
of October, 1775, thousands of in- 
cendiary papers were dispersed, 
inciting the people to rise and 
prevent the meeting of Parlia- 
ment. On this the guard was trebled, and 
their muskets loaded, and thirty-six rounds 
of powder delivered to them. At the same 
time papers, telling the people how well the 
Court was prepared, signed by Sir John 
Hawkins, Chairman of the Bench of West- 
minster Justices, were spread abroad. 1 

1 Walpole's Last Journals, vol. i. p. 510. 


Political Troubles in England. 

The king was fully aware of the danger, and 
wrote thus to Lord North : 

Queen's House, October 25, 1775. 
2 min. past 11 a.m. 

"Lord North, — On the receipt of your letter I have 
ordered Elliot's regiment to march from Henley to Houns- 
low, and the Horse and Grenadier Guards to take up their 
horses. These handbills are certainly spread to cause terror, 
but they may in the timid duke I saw yesterday, but I thank 
God I am not of that make. I know what my duty to my 
country makes me undertake, and threats cannot prevent me 
from doing that to the fullest extent." i 

In 1779, the king seemed to be recovered 
sufficiently to see the possible danger to English 
interests in Ireland. In a letter dated Kew, June 
11th, 1779, he says : " The present difficulties keep 
my mind very far from a state of ease. ... I have 
heard Lord North frequently drop that the ad- 
vantages to be gained by this contest could never 
repay the expence ; I owne that, let any war be ever 
so successful, if persons will sit down and weigh the 
expences, they will find, as in the last, that it has 
impoverished the state, enriched individuals, and 
perhaps raised the name only of the conquerors ; 

1 Correspondence, vol. i. p. 20. — " Queen's House, afterwards 
Buckingham House, was bought of Sir Charles Sheffield by George 
the Third in 1761 for £21,000, and settled on Queen Charlotte, in 
lieu of Somerset House, by an act passed in 1775. Here all the 
King's children were born, George the Fourth alone excepted. The 
Queen's House was taken clown in 1825 to make room for the 
present Buckingham Palace." — Cunningham's Handbook of London, 
p. 86. 2nd ed. 

Letter of George III 


but this is only weighing such events in the scale of 
a tradesman behind his counter j it is necessary for 
those in the station it has pleased Divine Providence 
to place me to weigh whether expences, though very 
great, are not sometimes necessary to prevent what 
might be more ruinous to a country than the loss of 
money. The present contest with America, I cannot 
help seeing, as the most serious in which any country 
was ever eri^ao-ed ; it contains such a train of con- 
sequences that they must be examined to feel its real 
weight. Whether the laying a tax was deserving 
all the evils that have arisen from it, I should suppose 
no man could alledge [sic] that without being thought 
more fit for Bedlam than a seat in the Senate ; but 
step by step the demands of America have risen : 
independence is their object ; that certainly is one 
which every man not willing to sacrifice every object 
to a momentary and inglorious peace must concurr 
with me in thinking that this country can never 
submit to : should America succeed in that, the 
West Indies must follow them, not independence, 
but must for its own interest be dependent on North 
America. Ireland would soon follow the same plan 
and be a separate state ; then this island would be 
reduced to itself, and soon would be a poor island 
indeed, for, reduced in her trade, merchants would 
retire with their wealth to climates more to their 
advantage, and shoals of manufacturers would leave 
this country for the nevv r empire." 

There was no question of Irish loss or gain, ex- 


The Gordon Riots. 

cept in so far as Irish loss or gain affected English 
interests, and it required a very much larger intellect 
than that of George III. to see that these interests 
were, or ought to be, identical. 

About the same time the Duke of Richmond 
made a motion in the House of Lords, in which lie 
said : " That in a moment so critical, the most awful 
this country had ever experienced, it would be 
deceiving His Majesty and the nation if they were 
not to represent that the only means of resisting the 
powerful combination which threatened the country 
would be by a total change of that system which 
had involved us in our present difficulties in America, 
in Ireland, and at home." 

The Gordon riots took place in 1780, and lasted 
from the 2nd of June until the 9th. Parliament was 
unable to meet during this commotion. It was 
suspected that the French were the instigators of it, 
as at that time everything revolutionary was laid to 
their charge. The king wanted to have " examples 
made," and told Lord North he must "get to the 
bottom of it." A difficult task for that easy-going- 
minister, who was scarcely capable of getting to the 
bottom of anything. 

In 1783, (July 24), the king expressed a strong 
opinion on the state of public affairs by no means 
complimentary to himself or his ministers : 

" Undoubtedly there is less regularity in the 
modes of conducting business in this kingdom than 
in any other European, or the mode of calling a new 

State of Public Affairs. 


parliament in Ireland ought to have been so clearly 
stated in the change of that constitution that no 
room ought to have been left for doubts as to the 
proper method of effecting it. But I fear folly, not 
reason, dictated the measure, and therefore it is not 
surprising every step has not been well "weighed." 

In November he declared that " Ireland was in 
fact dis-united from England," and certainly not 
without cause. The volunteers had been organised, 
and the volunteer were determined to have justice 
done to their countrv, while England was unable to 
deny it in consequence of her own personal 

There was war in India also, and though this did 
not very much concern the nation at large, till some 
few honourable men were roused by the recital of 
the horrible cruelties practised on the unhappy 
natives, it was not without its effect. 

The king and the Prince of Wales quarrelled, 
and the unhappy monarch exhibited the first 
symptoms of that malady which clouded his latter 

In 1795 all England was excited, turbulent, and 
violent. The war had necessitated increased taxa- 
tion ; increased taxation involved distress, and dis- 
tress fell grievously on those who were least able to 
bear it. 

Men who could lose thousands of pounds in a 
game of chance, or who could spend hundreds of 
pounds on mere luxuries, were not likely to under- 


Public Discontent. 

stand the sharp sufferings of those who had not 
sixpence to spare for a luxury — who had not at times 
a penny to buy a loaf of bread. There were few 
who could even comprehend the terrible misery of 
starvation, and the terrible agony of seeing wife and 
child pining away for want of common sustenance. 1 

Those who suffered thus were not likely to make 
nice distinctions as to the cause. The king as the 
ruler of the nation was naturally credited with being 
the origin of the national troubles. The king it was 
supposed could remedy them, and did not do so, 

1 Alison's " History of Europe," vol. iii. p. 20, thus describes 
the state of England : The condition of Great Britain in the close 
of 1795 and the beginning of 1798, was nearly as distracted, so far 
as public opinion went, as that of France. So violent had party 
spirit become, and so completely had it usurped the place of patriot- 
ism or reason, that many of the popular leaders had come to wish 
anxiously for the triumph of their enemies. It was no longer a 
simple disapprobation of the war which they felt, but a fervent 
desire that it might terminate to the disadvantage of their country, 
arid that the Republican might triumph over the British arms. 
They thought that there was no chance of parliamentary reform 
being carried, or any considerable addition to democratic power ac- 
quired, unless the ministry were deposed ; and to accomplish this 
object they hesitated not to betray their wish for the success of the 
inveterate enemies of their country. These ill humours which were 
afloat during the whole of the summer of 1795, broke out into acts 
of open violence in the autumn of that year. These causes of dis- 
content were increased by the high price of provisions, the natural 
consequence of the increased consumption and enlarged circulating 
medium required in the war, but which the lower orders, under the 
instigation of their demagogues, ascribed entirely to the ministry, 
and the crusade which they had undertaken against the liberties of 

Atidck on the Kiny. 


and popular vengeance sought to make the king the 
victim of its indignation. 

O'Connell was an eve-witness of this scene, and 
when he heard bitter reflections made, in later years, 
on the poor Irish peasant who attempted the life of 
a landlord who had deprived him of house, home, 
and even of the very possibility of labouring for an 
existence, it is little wonder that his honest heart 
burned with indignation when men condemned this, 
and lightly pawed over an attempt at regicide which 
certainly had not the excuse of being excited by 
actual starvation. 

The attack on the king was made on the 29th of 
October, 1795, as lie was returning from Parliament. 
O'Connell went with a friend to St. James' Park, 
little anticipating the extraordinary scene which he 
was to witness, lie thus described it himself to Mr. 
Daunt : " The carriage, surrounded by a noisy, 
angry, and excited mob, came moving slowly along. 
Suddenly the glass in the royal window was smashed 
by some individual in the crowd, who, having read 
the Bible, " rendered unto Caesar the things that are 
Caesar's" by flinging a penny at His Majesty. The 
flashing sabres of the dragoons were drawn im- 
mediately — the loud voice of imperative command 
was ringing above the tumultuous sounds, and the 
dragoons, clearing their way through the huddled 
and scrambling; multitude with brandished blades 
and curveting horses, advanced in a gallop in front 
of the king's carriage. As the procession approached 

110 Attack on the King. 

the place where O'Connell stood he pressed forward 
to get a sight of the king, when a dragoon made a 
furious slash at him, which deeply notched the tree 
an inch or two above his head. Groans, hootings, 
and hisses filled the air, and the king's life seemed 
in imminent danger ; however, he got rid of his 
dutiful subjects, and entered St. James's Palace, 
where he took off his robes in a wonderfully short 
time. He then came out at the opposite side of the 
palace, next Cleveland Row, and entered a coach 
drawn by two large black Hanoverian horses. He 
was subsequently driven towards Buckingham House, 
and just as he was passing the bottom of the Green 
Park, the mob tumultuousiy swarmed round the 
carriage, seized the wheels, and, with united strength 
and horrible vociferations, prevented their revolution, 
though the postilions, with desperate cuts, rained 
showers of blows on the straining and perspiring 
horses. The mob seemed intent on tearing the king 
to pieces. Two fellows at this moment approached 
the carriage — the hand of one was on the door- 
handle in the act of opening it. Had the door 
opened they would doubtless have dragged the king 
headlong out and murdered him on the spot. At 
this critical juncture a tall determined-looking man 
thrust a pistol through the opposite window at the 
fellows who were going to open the door ; they 
shrank back, the mob relaxed their grasp, on the 
wheels, the postilions flogged their horses, and the 
carriage went off at a gallop to Buckingham House. 

(yConnelVs Return to Ireland. 


Never had king a more narrow escape. It was a 
terrible scene." 

O'Connell returned home soon after, and some 
curious and characteristic anecdotes were told of his 
family life. For himself it is said, he was passion- 
ately fond of field sports, and took care to make up 
now for lost time by double enjoyment. No doubt 
that hardy constitution which made him bear up 
under years of such mental and physical toil as few 
men have ever endured, was braced and invigorated 
by the fresh Atlantic breezes of his mountain home. 
His son thus describes him at this period : 
" Often has the writer of these pages heard him 
describe, in his own graphic manner, his going out 
before dawn, to ensure that his few hounds should 
have the help of the scent still lying ; the feelings of 
the party as they crouched amid the heather, waiting 
for day ; the larks springing all around, and the 
eager dogs struggling to get free from the arms that 
restrained them. A wager — the only wager of Mr. 
O'Connell's life — was successfully accomplished by 
him with four of these hounds ; namely, the killing 
of four hares in three successive days. The four 
hounds, in fact, ran down and killed six hares in 
those three days, and vaulted another — a feat which 
he boasts no four hounds now living could accom- 

The vice of hard drinking was not one in which 
the future Liberator indulged. He was temperate j 
either from inclination, or from beino; unable to im- 

1 o 


bibe the copious potations which, his companions 
considered almost a necessary of life. 

It is said that he was one of the first to break 
through the time-honoured rule that the door should 
be locked after dinner, and the key thrown out of 
the window until every guest had drunk to intoxica- 
tion. 1 

I This practice was by no means confined to the wilds of Kerry, 
or indeed to Ireland. At Shane's Castle, where Mrs. Siddons often 
took part in private theatricals, Lord Mountjoy drew up in joke a 
set of rules for the company, which give an amusing idea of the state 
of society even in the highest circles : 

" Resolutions formed to promote regularity at Shane's Castle, at the 

meeting for the representation of ' CymbelineJ Nov. 20, 1785. 

" 1. That no noise be made daring the forenoon, for fear of 
wakening the company. 

" 2. That there, shall be no breakfast made after four o'clock in 
the afternoon, nor tea after one in the morning. 

"8. To inform any stranger who may come in at breakfast, that 
we are not at dinner. 

" 4. That no person be permitted to go out airing after breakfast 
till the moon gets up, for fear of being overturned in the dark. 

" 5. That the respective grooms may put up their horses after 
four hours' parading before the hall-door of the Castle. 

" 6. That there shall be one complete hour between each meal. 

II 7. That all the company must assemble at dinner before the 
cloth is removed. 

" 8. That supper may not be called for till five minutes after the 
last glass of claret. 

" 9. That no gentleman be permitted to drink more than three 
bottles of hock at or after supper. 

" 10. That all M.P.'s shall assemble on post-days in the coffee- 
room at four o'clock to frank letters."-— Cornivallis 1 Correspondence, 
vol. ii. p. 349. The free and easy style of living is as manifest 
from Rule 2, as the genial and general hospitality by Rule 5. 

Cousin Kane. 


O'Connell's favourite place in Iris uncle's house 
was the sideboard, where he found more freedom to 
indulge his jokes, and more liberty to come and go 
as he pleased. 

A certain "Cousin Kane," who enjoyed "free 
quarters" whenever he could get them — and when 
was hospitality ever refused in the " Green Island ?" 
— was one of the county characters. Cousin Kane 
had that charming facility of accommodation which 
satisfied itself everywhere, at least for a time ; and 
with his two horses and his twelve dogs, he quar- 
tered himself from week to week, now in one house 
and now in another, where he could, or said he could 
claim kin. Yet Cousin Kane's disposition does not 
seem to have been improved by Iris travels, for it 
is said that on one occasion there were seventy-six 
actions for assault and battery pending against him 
at the Tralee assizes. O'Connell offended him once 
by giving him whiskey instead of sherry in mistake. 
Kane drank the whiskey at a draught, and then com- 
menced vituperating his young cousin, concluding 
his harangue by roaring in a tone of thunder, " Fill 
it again, sir !" 

On the following morning, Kane got up at two 
o'clock and wakened O'Connell by his noise. " What 
are you about ?" said O'Connell, "the clock has only 
struck two." " Do you think I am to be a slave to 
that lying devil of a clock ye have there ?" raved 
Kane. " Do you think a gentleman like me is to be 
ruled and governed by a blackguard of a clock like 



A ttach of Fever., 

that— eh ? For what would I stay in bed if it struck 
twenty-two when I cannot sleep ?" Manifestly 
" Cousin Kane " would have been an ardent admirer 
of rule number four of the Shane's Castle code. 

In 1798, after O'Connell had been called to the 
bar, and before he went his first circuit, his life was 
despaired of, in consequence of his, having taken a 
violent chill, which resulted in fever. His own 
eagerness in the chase was the immediate cause of 
this malady. His son thus records the circum- 
stances, as related by his father : 

" Eagerness in the pursuit of this amusement had 
nearly cost him his life in the eventful year 1798 — 
the same in which he was called to the bar. After 
the latter occurrence, which took place May 19th, 
and before his first circuit, he proceeded in August to 
Darrynane ; and there, from a young man's im- 
prudence in allowing wet clothes to dry on him 
while he slept before a peasant's fire after a hard 
morning's hunting, was, after the further imprudence 
of attempting, during a fortnight, to fight off the 
fierce assailant, prostrated by a most severe and 
dangerous typhus fever. Early in the disorder, he 
obtained a full consciousness of his danger, and 
retained that consciousness in the intervals of the 
fits of delirium, which came upon him violently and 
frequently. Whenever the mind was able to assert 
its self-control, his most constant and bitterest 
thought was, that he was about to die without having 
been able to gratify the instinctive and innate feeling 

Fa vo ura hie Crisis. 


which from infancy had been uppermost in his 
mind — the feeling of craving, that it might be his 
lot to do something for Ireland ; and it is a curious 
fact that in his ravings, he waa constantly heard 
repeating the following lines from the tragedy of 
Douglas : 

1 Unknown, I die ; no tongue shall speak of me : 
Some noble spirits, judging by themselves, 
May yet conjecture what I might have proved, 
And think life only wanting to my fame ! 1 

" An affecting incident marked the turn of the 
disorder. When, as he felt himself, and as he 
appeared to others, he was falling into his agony, his 
head had slipped from the pillow and death would 
have been accelerated by the position, a cousin of 
his, who was present, raised him and supported 
him in her arms. While for a moment revived by 
this, his father came to the bedside, and, after con- 
templating him for a moment with agonised feelings, 
addressed him with * Dan, don't you know me ?' 
As with the last effort of nature, the son pressed the 
father's hand, in token of affectionate recognition ; 
and, with the effort, the fell disease that had so long 
been triumphant, seemed to be for the first time 
arrested — the crisis arrived, twenty-four hours' sleep 
followed, and thenceforth began and steadily con- 
tinued the restoration of health. 

During the same illness, Xapoleon's successful 
inarch to Alexandria was mentioned in his presence. 
The acute mind, which at once grasped the im- 
possibilities, as well as the possibilities of any plan, 


First Visit to Dublin. 

political or social, at once asserted itself. ' That is 
impossible,' said the patient ; ' he cannot have done 
so — they would have been starved.' ' Oh, no,' 
replied the doctor ; ' they had a quantity of portable 
soup, sufficient to feed the army for four days.' 
4 Ay,' replied O'Connell, 1 but had they portable 
water ? For their portable soup would be of little 
use without the water to dissolve it.' The medical 
gentleman, glancing hopefully at the mother, said, in 
low and satisfied tone, c His intellect at any rate is 
untouched.' " 

O'Connell went to Dublin in the year 1797, 
probably with a view to further preparation for 
being called to the bar, possibly with the intention 
of making friends who might serve him in his new 
career. It would appear to have been his first visit 
to the Irish metropolis ; under how many different 
phases he must have seen it afterwards, under how 
many different circumstances he must have entered 
it ! He had witnessed the assembling of an English 
parliament, he has now to witness the last debates of 
the Irish house. In England he had heard Pitt, and 
Fox, and Burke ;* in Dublin, he heard G rattan and 

1 He spoke for the last time on the 20th of June, 1794. His 
brother Richard died during this year, and his death inflicted a deep 
blow on the sensitive heart of the great Irishman. " Dick" was in- 
deed a universal favourite. Every one loved him in the Ballitore 
Quaker school, where he was educated ; and if he was " wished full 
ten times a day at old Nick," not indeed by his friends, who would 

Causes of the Rebellion. 117 

In England he had seen the king attacked in 
open day by his own subjects, and only saved from 
an instant and terrible death by a military escort. 
In Ireland he was to be a witness to secret rebellion, 
and even to be personally compromised in it. The 
state of Ireland at that period was certainly alarming, 
and has been unfortunately but too little understood. 

The broad outlines of contemporary history are 
indeed familiar to all educated persons. The manner 
in which the Irish rebellion was — shall we say 
encouraged, or excited by English statesmen ? — is 
admitted because it cannot be denied by some 
English historians ; the fraud and force by which 
the Union was effected is known equally well, but 
not, perhaps, generally believed. Nevertheless, the 
real causes and the real effects of the rebellion and of 
the Union have scarcely met with the consideration 
they deserve, though the subject is one which de- 
serves and would repay a careful study. 

Lord Townsend's administration had thoroughly 
debased the Irish parliament, It has been taken for 
granted, because the Irish Parliament was composed 
of persons who lived, at least, part of their lives in 

scarcely pardon such profanity, but by the poet who sings his praise, 

he was as surely wished back again. 

" What spirits were his, what art and what whim, 
Now breaking a jest and now breaking a limb ! 

In short, so peculiar a devil was Dick, 

That we wished him well ten times a day at old Nick, 

But missing his mirth and agreeable vein, 

As often we wished to have Dick back again." 


The Irish Parliament 

Ireland, that it represented Irish feeling. It is true, 
indeed, that there were a few men in it from time 
to time who were incorruptible and independent, 
who had Irish interests and who would make 
sacrifices for them ; but the great majority had no 
interest in Ireland. It was indeed the country from 
whence they drew their rents, and which supplied 
them with their income, but they were aliens from 
the people in religion and in affection. 

English interest was still the ruling motive of 
every enactment of this so-called Irish Parliament ; 
and yet, because the Parliament was Irish — because 
it had an Irish element in it, Ireland prospered 
during its later years, as Ireland had never pros- 
pered before. 

Still the one fatal policy prevailed, and the one 
fatal principle was carried out. Ireland was not 
treated as an integral part of the British Empire. 
Her interests were not even considered for a moment, 
and if they were considered, it was only that they 
might be treated as something absolutely inimical to 
English prosperity. It was a curious policy, it was 
an unwise policy, it was a fatal policy. If one-half 
the money which was spent in repressing Irish 
rebellions had been spent in promoting Irish in- 
dustry, there would have been no rebellions to 
repress, and England might have enriched herself, 
instead of adding a heavy item to her national debt, 
and throwing an additional weight of obloquy on 
her national character. 

Charles I. and his Irish Subjects. 119 

But in considering this period of Irish history, 
Irishmen have sometimes forgotten that the English 
House of Commons was quite as venal as that which 
sat in Dublin. The English nation had been for 
years, indeed since the very first hour of its inter- 
course with Ireland, educated and imbued with an 
anti-Irish feeling. Even Charles L dared not repeal 
Poyning's Act, though, by so doing, he had at least 
a chance of saving himself from his English subjects 
by conciliating his Irish subjects. He took in the 
full extent of his position. The Irish were Irish 
and nothing more. He may not, indeed, have 
deliberately selected to be murdered by his English 
subjects in preference to being defended by his 
Irish subjects ; but undoubtedly he weighed the 
matter carefully, and practically he concluded that, 
though the Irish might be his faithful subjects, they 
were very powerless to protect him against his 
rebellious subjects, while there was not one but 
thousands of Cromwells in England. Charles I. 
was right ; he might be spared by these blood- 
thirsty men, but if he sought protection from his 
Irish subjects, these men would effect their end 
sooner or later, and involve him and his defenders 
in one common ruin. 

The conditions of Irish political life before the 
close of the last century were sufficiently ominous, 
but the conditions at the close of that century are 
without parallel in the annals of history. 

The American war, or rather the evident pro- 


Government Men. 

bability that the American war would be successful, 
first roused up the English mind to the necessity, for 
its own sake, of doing something for Ireland. The 
problem then became how to do as little as possible ; 
unwillingness to do that little made it be done as 
ungraciously as possible. When you fling a trifling 
alms to a relation whom you have systematically 
defrauded, because you fear he may now have it in 
his power to retaliate, you can scarcely expect him 
to overwhelm you with gratitude, or to forget past 
wrongs. Yet the Irish are constantly reproached 
with being the most ungrateful people on the earth 
because they do not go into ecstasies of thankfulness 
for the smallest instalment of justice. Neither in- 
dividuals nor nations are to be respected who 
sacrifice their personal dignity. 

The American war thus created a necessity for 
justice, and on the 10th of November, 1773, leave 
was given to bring in a bill to secure the repay- 
ment of money that should be lent by Papists to 
Protestants on mortgages of land, and to show the 
extra condescension of this act of very accurate legal 
justice,- of justice which one might suppose could 
not be denied by one man to another, the bill was 
brought in by Mr. Mason, Sir Lucius O'Brien, and 
Mr. Langrishe, who were " government men." 

It might be supposed that any body of educated 
men would pass the bill, but it was not passed. 

Leave was also given to brinff hi a bill to allow 
Papists to take leases of houses and of lands. It 

Catholics British Subjects. 


might be supposed that at the close of the eighteenth 
century such a bill would certainly pass. It was 
rejected also. 1 

American affairs be^an to look still more threaten- 
ing, and on the 5th of March, 1774, leave was given 
to bring in a bill to permit Catholic subjects to testify 
their allegiance to their sovereign. This bill was 
passed, and the Irish historian Plowden says : " It 
gratified the Catholics, inasmuch as it was a formal 
recognition that they were subjects, and to this re- 
cognition they looked up as to the corner-stone of 
their future emancipation." 

Emigration to America had already begun. Had 
there been greater facilities, the emigration would 
have been greater. AVhat indeed were men to do 
who were neither allowed to live nor to labour, and 
who were not recognised even as subjects until now ; 
who were, even after this pitiful recognition, treated 
virtually as rebels even in time of peace ? 2 

1 The animus which existed in all classes of English is strongly 
shown in some of George III.'s letters. He writes thus to Lord 
North on March 29, 177G : "I have, both in the times of Lord 
Hertford and of Lord Townshend, declined making Irish marquises, 
and I have not in the least changed my opinion on that subject. I 
am heartily sick of Lord Earcourt's mode of trying step by step to 
draw me to fulfil his absurd requests. I desire I may hear no more 
of Irish marquises ; I feel for the English earls, and do not choose 
to disgust them." — Correspondence of George III., vol. ii. p. 16. It 
was the same principle of making a distinction between English and 
Irish subjects which made James I. cry out, " Spare my English 
subjects," when the Irish were fighting for him to the death. 

' 2 We find George III. writing in a specially contemptuous style of 

122 The Rebellion a Protestant Movement 

How completely the rebellion of 1798 was a Pro- 
testant movement has never been clearly understood. 
It is true, indeed, the great mass of those who rose 
were Catholics, but that was simply because the 
Catholics formed an overwhelming majority of the 
population. The leaders were Protestants • and how 
this came about we shall proceed to show.' 

Trade was permitted spasmodically in the north 
of Ireland, because the people in the north of Ireland 
were principally Protestants, and were many of them 
of Scotch and French descent. But this by no means 
saved them from the ill-judged miserable policy of 
their English rulers. The volunteer movement began 
in Belfast, and Cork, which was then an ultra-Pro- 

his American subjects, until they proclaimed their independence. In 
a letter dated July 4, 1774, he writes very boldly of "compulsion;" 
the English " lyons" however got the worst of it : " Since you left 
me this day, I have seen Lieutenant- General Gage, who came to ex- 
press his readiness, though so lately come from America, to return 
at a day's notice, if the conduct of the Colonies should induce the 
directing coercive measures. His language was very consonant to 
his character of an honest, determined man. He says they will be 
lyons whilst we are lambs ; but, if we take the resolute part, they 
will undoubtedly prove very meek. He thinks the four regiments 
intended to relieve as many regiments in America, if sent to Boston, 
are sufficient to prevent any disturbance. I wish ( you would see him, 
and hear his ideas as to the mode of compelling Boston to submit to 
whatever may be thought necessary ; indeed, all men seem now to 
feel that the fatal compliance in 1766 has encouraged the Americans 
annually to increase in their pretensions to that thorough indepen- 
dency which one state has of another, but which is quite subversive 
of the obedience which a colony owes to its mother country." — Cor- 
respondence, vol. i. p. 36. 

Jealousy of Irish Trade. 

testant city, supplied two of the leading spirits of the 
rebellion in the persons of the Shear ses. 

Both Cork and Belfast suffered most severely 
from English laws, made to restrain, or, to speak 
more accurately, to ruin Irish trade. 1 

1 Sir William Temple wrote thus, in' 1G78 : " Regard must be 
Lad to those points wherein the trade of Ireland comes to interfere 
with that of England, in which c:ise the Irish trade ought to be de- 
clined, so as to give way to the trade of England." 

A pamphlet on trade, published in London, 1727, apologises for 
opposing what it stales as " the universally received opinion that it 
were better for England if Ireland were no more !" And the writer 
grouuds this opposition on his conviction that such are Ireland's 
natural advantages for commerce, that her trade would increase 
greatly if the restrictions then existing were taken oft'; and the 
consequence would be, that 11 the drafts of En gland upon her would 
he increased, and the greater part of Ireland's gains by trade would 
centre in England !" 

Anderson, in his " History of Commerce," openly declares the 
English jealousy of Irish commercial enterprise. Coombe, who 
continued Anderson's work, comments with rather too considerate, 
but still a decided tone of censure on the oppressive and tyrannous 
line of conduct adopted in consequence of that jealousy. 

Arthur Young, in 1776, wrote thus : " British legislation, on all 
occasions, controlled Irish commerce with a very high hand — uni- 
versally on the principle of monopoly, as if the poverty of Ireland 
were her wealth." 

Pitt, in 1785 bore the same testimony ; and again in 1799. On 
the latter occasion, he said : " Ireland long felt the narrow policy of 
Great Britain, who, influenced by views of commercial advantage, 
and stained with selfish motives, never looked on her prosperity as 
-that of the empire at large." 

Mr. Huskisson, in 1825, added his testimony to the same 
effect : 

" Till 1780 the agriculture, internal industry, manufactures, 
commerce, and navigation of Ireland, were held in the most rigid 


The Volunteer Movement. 

In 1759 the Belfast people were obliged to arm 
themselves in self-defence, and the English Govern- 
ment was obliged to permit, and even to encourage 
this movement, to prevent the French landing in 
Ireland. Three companies of volunteers were formed, 
and the spirit of the Irish was roused for the first 
time during the past half century. Volunteer com- 
panies started up everywhere, but this arrangement 
did not suit the English Government. It is true, 
indeed, that these volunteers were all Protestants, 
but Protestants were quite as likely to use their 
arms against oppression as Catholics, and even more 
so. The Lord Lieutenant was requested to put 
down the movement, but it was not easy to do so. 

In 1779, when Protestant discontent became still 
more formidable, the Lord-Lieutenant wrote to Lord 
Weymouth on this subject : 

" The seizing their arms would, therefore, be a violent ex- 
pedient; and the preventing them from assembling, without a 
military force, impracticable ; for when the civil magistrate will 
rarely attempt to seize an offender suspected of the most enor- 
mous crimes, and when convicted, convey him to the place of 

subserviency to the supposed interests of Great Britain. Iu 1778 
there was a proposal to let her import sugar direct, and export all 
but woollens, to pay for it ; and this proposal was almost made a 
question of allegiance by the great towns of Great Britain, and so 
lost ! Bat towards the close of that year the disasters in America, and 
the state of things in Ireland, produced a different feeling in the British 
Parliament. State necessities, acting under a sense of political danger, 
yielded, without grace, that which good sense and good feeling had be- 
fore recommended in vain /" 

Irish Grievances. 


execution without soldiers — nay, when, in many instances, per- 
sons cannot be put into possession of their property, nor, being 
possessed, maintain it without such assistance, there is little 
presumption in asserting that unless bodies of troops be univer- 
sally dispersed, nothing can be done to effect." 

Nevertheless the Irish Protestants were so in- 
fatuated, or so ignorant, as not to see that their true 
interest lay in union with the Catholics, that a nation 
divided against itself could no more prosper than a 
divided family. 

In May, 1778, a bill was brought in to permit 
Catholics to hold land, and was fiercely petitioned 
against by the Protestant party. It was necessary, 
however, for Government to conciliate the Catholics, 
so the bill passed by a small majority. But nothing 
was done for the benefit of trade. Poverty and 
destitution reigned supreme. Ireland was forbidden 
commerce, was obliged to pay tithes to a Church 
which she abhorred, and to support the priests of 
her own religion. She was compelled to pay taxes 
for the maintenance of a military force to compel her 
to remain silent under her cruel wrongs, and to 
support an army for the subjugation of the only 
country from which she had any hope of redress. 

England began to be alarmed. There were cer- 
tainly some few men of the realm with sufficient com- 
mon sense to see the fatuity of the present course of 
Irish government : amongst the number were Lord 
Newhaven and the Marquis of Rockingham. 

Lord Temple, who held the unenviable post of 


"Free Trade — or this" 

Lord-Lieutenant in Ireland, proposed a committee to 
inquire into the distress of the nation. But the 
nation was tired of promises — and on the 4th of 
November, 1778, the volunteers paraded Dublin. 
They had two field-pieces with them, and bearing a 
significant inscription— 

" Free Trade— or this." 

The result was, that an act allowing free trade 
between Ireland and the British Colonies received 
the royal asseDt on the 24th of July, 1780. This 
concession was obtained merely by the physical 
force argument of the volunteers. 

On the 24th of November, 1779, Grattan moved 
in the House of Commons that it was then inex- 
pedient to grant new taxes. Ireland was plunged in 
the deepest and most abject poverty through no fault 
of her own, and England asked new subsidies from 
this nation which she had herself deprived of all 
means of enrichment ! 

The motion was carried- by a majority of over 
one hundred ; and on the following day the opposi- 
tion resolved, by a majority of one hundred and 
thirty-eight to one hundred, that the new duties 
should be for six months only. During the debate, 
when Mr. Brough the prime serjeant exclaimed, 
u Talk not to me of peace. Ireland is not in a state 
of peace — it is smothered over I" the house thrilled 
to the core, rose in a body to cheer him. 1 Certainly 

1 Life of Grattan, vol. i. ch. 17 ; Memoirs of the Court of 
George III. 



there was some public spirit in Ireland then, and the 
man who evoked that spirit, who gave it body and 
active life, was Grattan. 

His father had been recorder of Dublin for many 
years, and he was therefore initiated into Irish 
politics from his very childhood. He was endowed 
by nature with great gifts of eloquence, and with 
that noble spirit of justice without which eloquence 
is a curse, for it only leads men, not indeed to 
admire, but to practise tyranny. During his early 
life he spent much of his time at Marley Abbey, the 
residence of his uncle, where lie learned to admire 
the writings of Swift, and in some degree imbibed 
their spirit. 

Grattan entered Parliament as member for Lord 
Charlemont's borough of Charlemont, situated on the 
borders of Armagh and Tyrone. He was then in 
Uis thirtieth year. Whatever maybe said of electoral 
intimidation in the present age, of close or open, of 
rotten or honest, of saleable or unsaleable boroughs, 
there is nothing even faintly approaching the state of 
parliamentary representation at the close of the 
eighteenth century. The process of election was 
simple, and, after all, it had the merit of simplicity. 
The lord of the soil was the lord of the tenant's 
parliamentary conscience. There was no doubt 
about the matter — no- question about the matter, 
lie sent down the candidate of his choice ; whether 
that choice was directed by political or pecuniary 
motives, mattered little. It was nothing to the free 


11 Wo Irish need Apply." 

and independent electors certainty. They knew 
their duty, and they did it. If they failed, God 
might help them ! but there was no help from man. 

To have granted the lord of the soil the un- 
limited right of returning a member for his borough, 
would have saved a good deal of trouble, a good 
deal of expense, and a good deal of bitterness ; but 
the arrangement does not seem to have been thought 
of, and certainly it would have looked unconstitu- 
tional. After all, there is nothing like making a 
sham look legal and respectable. Men like Grattan 
got into parliament now and then, w T hen there were 
men like Lord Charlemont to nominate them ; but 
there were not many Lord Charlemonts in Ireland, 
and certainly there were not many G rattans. 

Lord Charlemont's conversion to Irish nationality, 
such as it was, arose from an open expression of 
English contempt for Irish peeresses. The whole 
affair is curious and instructive. 

A grand procession of peers and peeresses was 
arranged to meet the unfortunate Princess Caroline, 
but, before the princess landed, the Duchess of 
Bedford was commanded to inform the Irish 
peeresses that they were neither to walk nor take 
any part in the procession. It was carrying out the 
trite saying, " No Irish need apply," in high life. 

This might be done with impunity and with 
approbation where the lower classes of Irish were 
concerned, but the peeresses resented it. Lord 
Charlemont had spent seven years abroad, and was 

Lord Charlemont. 


not accustomed to the unedifying spectacle of a 
nation divided against itself— of one half of the bod}' 
politic despising the other half. He warmly re- 
sented the insult, and by his efforts obtained a 
reversal of the order. But he did not forget it. 
For a time at least he took part with the oppressed 
nation to which he belonged, but it was only for a 
time. The tide of public opinion in his own rank in 
life set strongly against him. Neither Ireland nor 
Irish politics were fashionable. It was well to be a 
peer certainly, even though he might be an Irish 
peer; but the less Irish he appeared, the more he 
would be respected by his fellows. What indeed 
were popular laudations in comparison with the 
approbation of his own immediate circle ? 

On the 27th of March, 1782, Charles Sheridan 
wrote thus to his brother Richard : 

" As to our politics here, I send 3-011 a newspaper ; read the 
resolutions of the volunteers, and you will be enabled to form 
some idea of the spirit which pervades the country. A declara- 
tion of the dependency of our Parliament upon yours will cer- 
tainly pass our House of Commons immediately after the recess. 
Government here dare not, cannot oppose it : you will see the 
volunteers have pledged their lives and fortunes in support of 
the measure ; the grand juries of every count} 7 have followed 
their example, and some of the staunchest friends of Govern- 
ment have been, much against their inclination, compelled to 
sign the most spirited resolutions." 1 

The volunteer movement, as we have said, began 

1 Life of Grattan, vol. ii. p. 214. 



Spirit of the Volunteers. 

in Belfast ; when the necessity was over, the corps 
were disbanded ; but they refused in 1778, when 
there were again reports and fears of a French 

In January, 1779, Lord Charlemont assumed the 
command of the Armagh volunteers. The Govern- 
ment did not like it. They had a choice of evils. 
Protection against a foreign foe was needed, but 
there were grave fears lest the protectors against a 
foreign foe might turn out domestic enemies. The 
English were thoroughly aware of the state of Irish 
feeling, though they took no pains to reconcile it. 

In May, 1779, Lord Eockingham wrote thus to 
Lord Weymouth. 

i( Upon receiving official intimation that the enemy medi- 
tated an attack upon the northern parts of Ireland, the inhabi- 
tants of Belfast and Carrickfergus, as Government could not 
immediately afford a greater force for their protection than 
about sixty troopers, armed themselves, and by degrees formed 
themselves into two or three companies; the spirit diffused 
itself into different parts of the kingdom, and the numbers be- 
came considerable, but in no degree to the amount represented. 
Discouragement has, however, been given on my part, as far 
as might be without offence, at a crisis when the arm and good- 
will of every individual might have been wanting for the defence 
of the state." 

The volunteers were in fact working up the 
country with a steady energy, with a quiet determina- 
tion, that must have been terribly embarrassing to 
the Government. Those who thought at all, who 
looked ever so little beyond the narrow sphere of 

Spirited Resolu turns. 


their self-interest, asked themselves what would be 
the end of all this ? 

It was impossible to raise a " No Popery !" cry 
against them, however desirable, for they were all 
Protestants, and, being Protestants, though they 
were Irish, they could scarcely be shot down like 
dogs. Moreover, they were headed by men of high, 
respectability, by men of rank and position. When 
they met at Dungannon, on the loth of February, 
1782, Colonel Irvine took the chair, and the following 
are but a few of the names of those who signed the 
resolutions : Viscount Enniskillen, Colonel Mervyn 
Archdall, Colonel William Irvine, Colonel Robert 
M'Clintock, Colonel John Ferguson, Colonel John 
Montgomery, Colonel Charles Leslie, Colonel Francis 
Lucas, Colonel Thomas M. Jones, Colonel James 
Hamilton, Colonel Andrew Thomson, Lieutenant- 
Colonel C. Nesbitt, Lieutenant-Colonel A. Stewart, 
Major James Patterson, Major Francis Dobbs, Major 
James M'Clintock. 

The following are some of the resolutions ; we 
do not give them all, because of their length, our 
present object being merely to give a general outline 
of the state of Ireland when O'Connell commenced 
his public career : 

" Whereas, it has been asserted that volunteers, as such, 
cannot with propriety debate, or publish their opinions on poli- 
tical subjects, or on the conduct of Parliament or political men : 

" Resolved ,• unanimously, That a citizen by learning the 
use of arms does not abandon any of his civil rights. 


A New Discovery. 

" Resolved, unanimously, That a claim of any body of men, 
other than the King, Lords, and Commons of Ireland, to make 
laws to bind this kingdom, is unconstitutional, illegal, and a 

" Resolved, with one dissenting voice only, That the powers 
exercised by the Privy Councils of both kingdoms, under, or 
under colour or pretence of, the law of Poyning's, are uncon- 
stitutional, and a grievance. 

" Resolved, unanimously, That the ports of this country are 
by right open to all foreign countries not at war with the king ; 
and that any burden thereupon, or obstruction thereto, save only 
by the Parliament of Ireland, is unconstitutional, illegal, and a 

" Resolved, with two dissenting voices only to this and the 
following resolution, That we hold the right of private judg- 
ment, in matters of religion, to be equally sacred in others as 

''Resolved, therefore, That as men and as Irishmen, as 
Christians and as Protestants, we rejoice in the relaxation of the 
penal laws against our Koman Catholic fellow- subjects, and that 
we conceive the measure to be fraught with the happiest conse- 
quences to the union and prosperity of the inhabitants of 

The two last resolutions are noteworthy. For 
the first time Protestants seem to have obtained some 
glimmering light on the subject of religious liberty. 
It was a new discovery ; yet one should thing it 
ought to have been an established axiom, that " the 
right of private judgment in religious matters/' if it 
existed at all, must exist equally for all. The relaxa- 
tion of the penal code was but a necessary con- 
sequence of this conclusion ; the entire removal of 

On Relaxing the Penal Code. 


every disability — social, political, or domestic — would 
be but the natural end. 

Burke thus describes the pitiful concessions 
which were the result. His observations might be 
studied with advantage even at the present day. 
Liberal-minded, or to speak more correctly, large- 
minded Protestants need to be reminded of Ireland's 
past grievances, of the terrible struggles which she 
was obliged to make in order to obtain even the 
most trifling act of justice. Those who are prejudiced 
might perhaps lesson their prejudices, if they have 
not sufficient intellect to discard them by studying 
the argument of one of England's most famous 
senators, though his birth was Irish : 

" To look at the bill in the abstract, it is neither more nor 
less than a renewed act of universal, unmitigated, indispensable, 
exceptionless disqualification. One would imagine that a bill 
inflicting such a multitude of incapacities, had followed on the 
heels of a conquest made by a very fierce enemy, under the im- 
pression of recent animosity and resentment. No man, on 
reading that bill, could imagine that he was reading an act 
of amnesty and indulgence. This I say on memory. It re- 
cites the oath, and that Catholics ought to be considered as 
good and loyal subjects to his majesty, his crown, and govern- 
ment ; then follows a universal exclusion of those good and 
loyal subjects from every, even the lowest office of trust and 
profit, or from any vote at an election ; from any privilege in a 
town corporate ; from being even a freeman of such corpora- 
tions ; from serving on grand juries ; from a vote at a vestry ; 
from having a gun in his house ; from being a barrister, attor- 
ney, solicitor, &c. 

" This has surely more of the air of a table of proscriptions 
than an act of grace. What must we suppose the laws con- 


Grattan on the Penal Code, 

eerning those good subjects to have been of which this is a 
relaxation ? When a very great portion of the labour of indi- 
viduals goes to the State, and is by the State again refunded to 
individuals through the medium of offices, and in this circuitous 
progress from the public to the private fund, indemnifies the 
families from whom it is taken, an equitable balance between 
the Government and the subject is established. But if a great 
body of the people who contribute to this State lottery, are ex- 
cluded from all the prizes, the stopping the circulation with 
regard to them must be a most cruel hardship, amounting in 
effect to being double and treble taxed, and will be felt as such 
to the very quick by all the families, high and low, of those 
hundreds of thousands who are denied* their chance in the 
returned fruits of their own industry. This is the thing meant 
by those who look on the public revenue only as a spoil ; and 
will naturally wish to have as few as possible concerned in the 
division of the booty. If a State should be so unhappy as to 
think it cannot subsist without such a barbarous proscription, 
the persons so proscribed ought to be indemnified by the re- 
mission of a large part of their taxes, by an immunity from the 
offices of public burden, and by an exemption from being 
pressed into any military or naval service. Why are Catholics 
excluded from the law ? Do not they expend money in their 
suits ? Why may not they indemnify themselves by profiting 
in the persons of some for the losses incurred by others ? Why 
may they not have persons of confidence,, whom they may, if 
they please, employ in the agency of their affairs ? The exclu- 
sion from the law, from grand juries, from sheriffships, uncler- 
sheriffships, as well as from freedom in any corporation, may 
subject them to dreadful hardships, as it may exclude them 
wholly from all that is beneficial, and expose them to all that 
is mischievous in a trial by jury." 

Grattan exclaimed : 

" So long as the penal code, remains we never can be a 
great nation ; the penal code is the shell in which the Protes- 

Lord Charlemonfs Letter. 


tant power lias been hatched, and now it is become a bird, it 
must burst the shell asunder, or perish in it. I give my con- 
sent to the clause in its principle, extent, and boldness, and 
give my consent to it as the most likely means of obtaining a 
victory over the prejudices of Catholics, and over our own. I 
give my consent to it, because I would not keep two millions of 
my fellow-subjects in a state of slavery ; and because, as the 
mover of the Declaration of Rights, I should be ashamed of 
giving freedom to but six hundred thousand of my countrymen, 
when I could extend it to two millions more." 

The state of Ireland was causing general alarm 
in England. Lord Charleraont wrote to Mr. Fox 
the bold words : u 1 am an Irishman; I pride myself 
in the appellation"* The volunteers were feared 

1 "We give a considerable portion of Lord Charlemont's letter. 
The original may be found both in Hardy's " Life of Lord Charle- 
mont," and in the Fox Correspondence : 

Dublin, lltk April, 1782. 
"No man can be more rejoiced that I am at this late happy, 
though tardy, change. I rejoice in it as a friend to individuals, but 
more especially as a member of the empire at large, which will 
probably be indebted to it for its salvation. I hope also, and doubt 
not, that I shall have reason to rejoice in it as an Irishman, for I 
cannot conceive that they who are intent upon the great work of re- 
storing the empire, should not be ardently attentive to the real 
welfare of ail its parts ; or that true Whig*, genuine lovers of liberty, 
whose principles I know, honour, and strive to imitate, should not 
wish to diffuse this invaluable blessing through every part of those 
dominions whose interests they are called upon to administer. The 
appointment of the Duke of Portland and of his secretary is a good 
presage. I know and respect their principles, and should be truly 
unhappy if anything in their conduct respecting this country should 
prevent my perfect co-operation with them. For, my dear sir, with 
every degree of affection for our sister kingdom, with every regard 
for the interests of the empire at large, I am an Irishman ; I pride 


Kindling of National Spirit, 

certainly, but the spirit which the volunteers had 
evoked was feared, and should have been feared a 
great deal more. Irishmen had been so long treated 

treatment, passively at least. 

Their new assertion that they were men who had 
rights, their new perception that it needed only a 
little force, moral and physical, to obtain these rights, 
roused the spirit of the nation. 

myself in the appellation, and will in every particular act as such, at 
the same time declaring that I most sincerely and heartily concur 
with you in thinking that the interests of England and of Ireland 
cannot be distinct ; and that, therefore, in acting as an Irishman, I 
may always hope to perform the part of a true Englishman also. 

" I have shown your letter to Grattan, and he is much gratified 
by your friendly opinion of him. We are both of us precisely of the 
same mind. We respect and honour the present administration. 
We adore the principle on which it is founded. We look up to its 
members with the utmost confidence for their assistance in the great 
work of general freedom, and should be happy in our turn to have it 
in our power to support them in Ireland in the manner which may 
be most beneficial to them, and most honourable to us — consulted 
but not considered. The people at large must indeed entertain a 
partiality for the present ministers. True Whigs must rejoice at the 
prevalence of Whiggish principles. The nation wishes to support 
the favourers of American freedom, the men who opposed the de- 
tested, the execrated American war. Let our rights be acknowledged 
and secured to us — those rights which no man can controvert, but 
which to a true Whig are self-evident — and that nation, those lives 
and fortunes which are now universally pledged for the emancipation 
of our country, will be as cheerfully, as universally pledged for the 
defence of our sister kingdom, and for the support of an administra- 
tion which will justly claim the gratitude of a spirited and grateful 
people, by having contributed to the completion of all their wishes. — 

I am, &C, " ClIARLEMONT." 

acquiesce in this 

An Irresponsible Government. 


Mr. Fox discovered very clearly some of the evils 
of Irish administration. He wrote thus to Mr. 
Fitzpatrick, who was chief secretary, on the 13th 
April, 1782 : 

" He [the Duke of Leiuster] describes the want of concert 
and system which comes from the want of such a thing 
[a cabinet] to be very detrimental in every respect, and parti- 
cularly in parliamentary operations, where those who wish to 
support Government often do not know till the moment what is 
the plan proposed, and consequently are wholly unable to sup- 
port it either systematically or effectually. Another great in- 
convenience, which he attributes to this want, is that the Lord- 
Lieutenant, not having any regular ministry to apply to, is 
driven, or at least led, to consult Lees and such sort of inferior 
people, and by that means the whole power is (as it was here) 
centered in the Jenkinsons and the Robinsons, &c, of that 
country. Nobody is responsible but the Lord-Lieutenant and 
his secretary ; they know they are to go away, and consequently 
all the mischiefs ensue that belong to a government without 
responsibility. I have not talked with anybody upon this, nor 
indeed had time to think it over myself, but it really strikes me 
as a matter very well worth weighing, and I wish the Duke of 
Portland and you would turn your minds to it, especially if, as 
I take for granted, this idea was suggested to the Duke of 
Leinster by other considerable men on your side of the water. 
I have only stated it to you as it strikes me, upon first hearing 
the thing broached." 1 

It was an old story. The Lord-Lieutenant merely 

1 Correspondence of Charles James Fox, vol. i. p. 387. — The 
editor of that work observes : " It is curious to see the question of 
1 responsible government ' started in Ireland more than half a cen- 
tury before it was a watchword in Canada." 


A Warning. 

looked on his post as a place of emolument or a 
dignity. Ireland was nothing to him. How should 
it be, when his residence in that country might 
terminate at any moment, when he had no power to 
do good if he wished, and would have even scant 
thanks from his masters for doing it had he been able ? 

The position was anything but a pleasant one. 
We shall see later on what another viceroy thought 
on the subject. At this time there was undoubtedly 
a system of espionage. Letters were opened, it was 
said, by the creatures of the late administration. 

Mr. Fitzpatrick wrote to Mr. Fox to warn him : 

"Dublin Castle, April Mth, 1782. 

" Dear Charles, — I shall begin my letter with giving you 
a caution concerning the communication of its contents too 
generally on your side of the water, and with another, respect- 
ing the confidential letters you write me, which you had better 
never trust to the post, as we have the misfortune of being here 
in the hands of the tools of the last Government, and there is 
every reason to suspect that our letters may be opened before 
they reach us. I wish you, therefore, to trust them only in the 
hands of messengers." 1 

1 There are some amusing remarks about Grattan in this letter : 
" But what appears to me the worst of all is, that unless the heat 
of the volunteers subsides, I dread Grattan's. For though everybody 
seems to agree that he is honest, I am sure he is an enthusiast, and 
impracticable as the most impracticable of our friends in the West- 
minster Committee. His situation is enough to turn the head of any 
man fond of popular applause, but the brilliancy of it can only sub- 
sist by carrying points in opposition to Government ; and though he 
chose to make a comparison yesterday between Ireland and America, 
giving the preference to his own country, I confess I think the wise, 

Post- Office Esp ion age. 


On the 19th of July, 1783, Lord Temple wrote 
a similar complaint to Mr. Beresford : 

"It is probable that this letter will share the fate which 
many others have experienced, and as I do not mean to write 
for the information of the post-office, I will only say that I still 
take that eager interest in the government of Ireland which will 
make me cordially rejoice in the success of a wise and tem- 
perate government ; but I have not the smallest objection to 
the publication of my opinion, that as far as your administration 
depends upon English ministers, it will not be wise, temperate, 
or consistent, and that every scene to which I have been a wit- 
ness since my arrival in England has confirmed me in my 
opinions, under which I resigned the government which I 
could not hold with advantage to the empire and honour to 

On the 13th of October, 1783, he wrote : 
" The shameful liberties taken with my letters, both sent 
and received (for even the Speaker's letter to me had been 
opened), make me cautious on politics ; but you, who know me, 
will believe that I am most deeply anxious for the events of 
this Irish session, and with every disposition to loathe and 
execrate our English ministry, even with the certainty that 
their measures, their abilities, and their intentions are little 
proportioned to the exigencies of the State, I am still too 

toniperate, systematic conduct of the other, if adopted by Ireland, 
would bring all these difficulties to a very short and happy conclu- 
sion, to the satisfaction and advantage of both parties. Lord Shel- 
burne's speech gives great satisfaction here, and probably if there 
had been any chance of soothing this country into moderation, would 
have done infinite mischief. It is curious enough that while he is 
recommending us to support the authority of England more than we 
either can or, I think, ought to do, he should be declaring in the 
House of Lords that the claims of Ireland must be acceded to." 


Irish Grievances. 

warmly anxious for the peace and unity of the empire not to 
wish to Government in Ireland every success in the arduous 
task of this winter." 

It was no wonder that Ireland was discontented. 
The private correspondence of the times between 
those who profess to govern her, afford ample 
evidence that while they disagree totally as to how 
she should be governed, they agree thoroughly that 
she should not be allowed a voice in her own govern- 
ment ; above all, that she should not be allowed 
prosperity, commercial or otherwise. 

Men asked in one breath, " What did Ireland 
want ? and what were her grievances ?" but when 
she told them, they were flung aside with contempt, 
or silenced by force. 

If any man dared to speak for her, and boldly 
proclaim her wrongs, he was a malcontent ; if any 
man ventured to suggest physical force, he was a 
rebel. America was quoted to her quite as a model 
theoretically, but practically we all know the result 
when she attempted to follow this example. 

The truth was England did not choose to listen. 
What were the most cogent arguments to her, when 
she had formed her resolve, and did not intend to 
alter it? Grattan told her in plain, clear, unmis- 
xepresentable language what Ireland did not want, 
and what she did want. She did not want " a 
foreign judicature f English rule in Ireland was no 
better. The Englishmen who ruled Ireland did not 
consider it their home, much less did they consider 

Scorn of Irish Demands. 


it their fatherland, which they should honour, for 
whose prosperity they should work, heart and soul. 
The one question with them was, not what will 
benefit Ireland, but what will benefit England. 
When an act of the commonest justice was proposed 
for Ireland, the first observation was not, We must 
grant it — it is justice ; but, Will it ever in the least 
interfere with English interests ? This is no mere 
assertion. There is ample proof of it. 

Ireland was told to be "reasonable," which meant 
that she was to be thankful for such little permission 
to trade as certainly could not divert a ship-load of 
any manufacture from England, even by the remotest 

If concessions were asked, the petition was 
quietly shelved. If they were demanded it was con- 
sidered an insult, and an ample reason for refusing 

If the interests of a great realm were not con- 
cerned, if the interests of men who were equals were 
not concerned, one could afford to smile at such 
folly. It was a schoolboy axiom carried out by great 
men in political life. If you will not ask, how can 
we know what you want ? if you do ask, be assured 
you shall not get what you ask. There was ever- 
more something wrong in that which was asked for, 
or in the manner of the asking. Practically it 
mattered little, for the result was just the same. 1 

1 Sir Richard Heron wrote thus to Mr/ Robinson from Dublin 


A Puzzle past comprehension. 

Meanwhile the state of the country was becoming 
daily worse. Ireland was to be allowed only the 
" gleanings" 1 of commerce, though her worst enemies 
admitted she could not live on them ; she was to be 
" reasonable/' 2 though the same persons declare the 
kingdom was in such a distress, it " puzzled 3 all 
[English] comprehension" what it might do. 

Castle on the 20th August, 1779: "The unusual sum of money 
now wanted, the low state of the revenue, and the general distress 
of the kingdom, considered together, give great reason to apprehend 
a very difficult session, It will, however, be my Lord-Lieutenant's 
utmost endeavour that the affairs of this kingdom may embarrass 
his Majesty and his British servants as little as possible." — Beresford 
Correspondence, vol. i. p. 47. 

1 " Ireland is certainly a great kingdom ; but the idea of its sup- 
porting, upon the gleanings of commerce (for such only it can carry 
on during a war), its continual drains to Great Britain, and a 
military establishment sufficient to defend itself, is certainly ill- 
founded. Prepare, therefore, to give handsomely, but upon proper 
terms, some material extension of their commerce. Whatever com- 
merce this kingdom carries on legally will prejudice yours less than 
their carrying it on, as they have hitherto done, illicitly." — Letter of 
Sir Richard Heron to Mr. Robinson, August 20, 1779. 

2 " That no extension (by trade) of any value can be given with- 
out the exertion of Government, nor without occasioning great 
discontent in many parts of England; and, therefore, unless Ireland 
is likely to be satisfied with reasonable extensions, they may be 
assured his Majesty's servants will preserve good-humour at home 
by not giving their support to any, and that the gentlemen of this 
country will have the ill humours they excite to pacify, or the king- 
dom will go into a state of confusion, which cannot but have very 
serious consequences to all gentlemen who possess property here." — 
Beresford Correspondence, vol. i. p. '50. 

3 "This kingdom is in such a state as puzzles all comprehension 
as to what it may do : a multitude of idlers miserably poor ; a debt, 

What Ireland did not want. 


Ireland did not want a " foreign judicature." She 
wanted an impartial administration, and that could 
not be given to her by men whose one idea was not 

small as it is, without a shilling to pay interest ; the skeleton of a 
force not in his Majesty's service, which it may be difficult to deal, 
or madness to meddle with ; taxes to be imposed, and no material 
for imposition; a great deal of ignorance ; a great deal of prejudice ; 

a most overgrown hierarchy, and a most oppressed peasantry ; 

property by some late determinations of the Lords upon covenants for 
perpetual renewals of leases very much set at sea, and no means to 
a multitude of families to supply its place; rents fallen, and a 
general disposition to riot and mischief." — Litter from the Attorney- 
General to Mr. Robinson, dated Harcourt- street, Dublin, April 13, 
1779. The Attorney-General was created Earl of Clonmel in 1703. 
He was a clever but utterly unscrupulous politician, and by no means 
choice in his language, He certainly had little respect for the Pro- 
testant Church, of which he was a member. 

Rowan's " Autobiography " records a strange dialogue between 
Lord Clonmel and a bookseller named Byrne, whose shop he visited 
on seeing Rowan's trial advertised. One sentence will convey an 
idea of the colloquy, as well as of the times in which such language 
could be hazarded by a judge. u Take care, sir, what you do ; I 
give you this caution ; for if there are any reflections on the judges 
of the land — by the eternal G — I will lay you by the heels." 

Lord Clonmel's health and spirits gradually broke down, and 
accounts of his death were daily circulated. On one of these occa- 
sions, when he was really very ill, a friend said to Curran, 11 Well, 
they say Clonmel is going to die at last. Do you believe it ?" "I 
believe," said Curran, "he is scoundrel enough to live or die, just 
as it suit* his own convenience!" Shortly before the death of Lord 
Clonmel, Mr. Lawless, afterwards Lord Cloncurry, had an interview 
with him ; when the chief exclaimed, " My dear Val, I have been a 
fortunate man through life ; I am a chief-justice and an earl : but 
were I to begin the world again, I would rather be a chimney- 
sweeper than connected with the Irish Government." 

His family published his diary for private circulation. It is an 


The Wants of Ireland. 

justice, but English interests. She did not want a 
" legislative Privy Council," nor a " perpetual army." 
The " perpetual army" for which she was compelled 

amusing and not very edifying production. For fuller accounts of 
him, see 44 The Sham Squire, or the Reformers of '98, "■ — a most 
curious and interesting work, giving details never before published 
of the state of Ireland at this eventful period. Lord Clonmel, it is 
stated, enriched himself by a gross breach of trust, which, however, 
was then perfectly legal. It would appear that the lady whom he 
defended was his own stepdaughter. 

The author of 44 The Sham Squire " was informed by a very re- 
spectable solicitor, Mr. H , that in looking over Lord Clomnel's 

rentals, he was struck by the following note written by his lordship's 
agent, in reference to the property Brolnaduff. 44 Lord Clonmel 
when Mr. Scott, held this in trust for a Roman Catholic, who owing 
to the operation of the Popery laws was incapacitated from keeping 
it in his own hands. When reminded of the trust, Mr. Scott refused 
to acknowledge it, and thus the property fell into the Clonmel 
family." The key to this is found in a paragraph in Walker's 
Hibernian Magazine for July, 1797. We read, p. 97— 4 1 Edward 
Byrne of Mullinahack, Esq., to Miss Roe, step-daughter to the Earl 
of Clonmel, and niece to Lord Viscount Llandaff." Hereby hangs a 
tale. Miss Roe was understood to have a large fortune, and when 
Mr. Byrne applied to Lord Clonmel for it, his lordship shuffled, say- 
ing, 4 4 Miss Roe is a lapsed Papist, and I avail myself of the laws 
which I administer, to withhold the money." Mr. Byrne filed a bill, 
in which he recited the evasive reply of Lord Clonmel. The chief- 
justice never answered the bill, and treated Mr. Byrne's remon- 
strances with contempt. These facts transpire in the legal docu- 
ments held by Mr. H . Too often the treachery manifested by 

the rich in position of trust, at the calamitous period in question, 
contrasted curiously with the tried fidelity observed by some needy 
persons in a similar capacity. Moore, in his 44 Memoirs of Captain 
Rock," mentions the case of a poor Protestant barber, who, though 
his own property did not exceed a few pounds in value, actually held 
in fee the estates of most of the Catholic gentry of the county. He 
adds, that this estimable man was never known to betray his trust." 

I Unconditional C 'on cessions. 


to pay was a necessary consequence of the " foreign 
judicature." 1 She asked " nothing but what was 
essential to her liberty," and she heard this powerful 
argument enforced by one of the best and ablest of 
her sons. She only asked what Englishmen con- 
sidered indispensable for themselves. The burden 
of proof lay on them. They were bound to show, 
if they could, why they denied Ireland that justice 
which was the pride and boast of their own country. 

Mr. Fox wrote a politely evasive reply. He 
assured Mr. Grattan that he considered Irish affairs 
" very important," but that it would be " imprudent" 
to meddle with them. He wrote the usual platitudes 
about ardent wishes to satisfy both countries. He 
probably knew as well, or better than any living 
man that he could not satisfy both countries so long 
as justice to Ireland was considered injustice to 

Mr. Fox wrote a private letter at the same time 
to Mr. Fitzpatrick, in which he said that his answer 
to Grattan's letter was "perfectly general," 2 which 
was perfectly true. 

The result, however, was favourable. Grattan's 
appeal was considered and accepted. The Act of 
the 6th George L, entitled, "An Act for the Better 
Securing the Dependency of Ireland upon the Crown 
of Great Britain," was repealed. 

1 See Grattan's Letter, at the end of this chapter. 
* " Correspondence of Charles James ^ox." 



Irish Gratitude. 

On the 27th of May, 1782, when the Irish Houses 
met, after an adjournment of three weeks, the Duke 
of Portland announced the unconditional concessions 
which had been made to Ireland by the English 
Parliament. Mr. Grattan interpreted the concession 
in the fullest sense, and moved an address "breathing 
the generous sentiments of his noble and confiding 
nature." Mr. Flood and a few other members took 
a different and more cautions view of the case. They 
wished for something more than a simple repeal of 
the Act of the 6th George I., arid they demanded an 
express declaration that England would not interfere 
with Irish affairs. But the address was carried by a 
division of 211 to 2 ; and the House to show its 
gratitude, voted that 20,000 Irish seamen should be 
raised for the British navy at a cost of £100,000, 
and that £50,000 should be given to purchase an 
estate and build a house for Mr. Grattan, whose 
eloquence had contributed so powerfully to obtain 
what they hoped would prove justice to Ireland. 

If even a small majority of the Irish Parliament 
had been men whose interests were Irish, there is no 
doubt that Ireland would have prospered. Even as 
it was, the last years of her nominal independence 
were her best years. 

There were three causes which proved the ruin 
of Irish independence. First, the volunteers were 
quietly and cleverly suppressed. 1 There was no 

1 How terribly afraid Government was of the volunteers is evident 

Dread of the Volunteers. 


noise, no commotion ; it was a simple extinction. 
?*Ien might talk as they pleased, but without an 

from the following documents. On the 31st October, 1783, General 
Burgoyne wrote to Mr. Fox : 

"Add to this the apprehensions that timid and melancholy 
speculators entertain upon the meeting of the Convention oi Dele- 
gates the 10th of next month. I have not myself any idea of serious 
commotion, but we have strengthened the garrison of Dublin, and it 
might be thought wrong in the commander-in-chief to be absent. 
You have, doubtless, the fullest information of the proceedings and 
language of the Bishop of Derry, and of the mode in which the 
friends of Government mean to meet the question of Parliamentary 
Reform, if urged otherwise than by application to Parliament." — 
Fox's Correspondence i vol. ii. p. 189. 

Lord Worthington wrote from Dublin Castle on November 30, 
suggesting that they should be got rid of politely : 

"If this business goes off, as I sanguinely hope it may, and the 
address should go to the king, an answer of temper and firmness at 
the same time would highly suit the present state of things ; such as 
a retrospective compliment to the conduct of the volunteers, and 
disapprobation of their present meeting — a hope, expectation, or 
advice of their disbanding themselves." 

On the 17th November, General Burgoyne wrote again : 

"A greater embarrassment yet has arisen in the Convention, 
which you will see in print — viz., the interference (but upon dif- 
ferent principles) of the Catholics. By the mouth of Lord Kenmare, 
they relinquish their pretensions to suffrages at elections ; by the 
mouth of Sir Patrick Bellew, they assert them. I wish they did so 
more soundly, for I am clearly of opinion that every alarm of the 
increase of Catholic interest and prevalence beyond the present 
limits — which give them in the general opinion all the share of 
rights necessary for their happiness, and consistent with the safety 
of their Protestant fellow-subjects — every idea, I think, of an exten- 
sion of their claims, excites new jealousy and dread of the volun- 
teers, and cements and animates the real friends of the constitution, 
and surely with reason; for, upon the very principle of free and 


Bribery of the Press. 

armed force to give at least a physical impression to 
their words, the talk was a breath, and nothing more. 
Secondly, individual members of Parliament were 
bribed, sometimes with place, sometimes with pension, 
sometimes with rank. It was quite the same in 
which form the bribe was given or taken, the work 
was done. 

And, thirdly, the press was bribed ; and, more- 
over, this was done more or less openly. On the 
23rd of January, 1789, Mr. Griffith complained in 
his place in Parliament that the " newspapers seemed 
under some very improper influence. In one paper 
the country was described as one scene of riot and 
confusion — in another all is peace ! By the procla- 
mations that are published in them, and which are 
kept in for years, in order to make the fortunes of 
some individuals, the kingdom is scandalised and 
disgraced through all the nations of the world where 
our newspapers are read. The proclamations are a 
libel on the country. Was any offender ever taken 
up in consequence of such publications ? And are 
they not rather a hint to offenders to change their 
situation and appearance ? He did hope, from what 
a right honorable gentleman had said last year, that 
this abuse would have been redressed, but ministers 

conscientious suffrage, nothing can be more impossible than a Pro- 
testant representative chosen by Catholic electors." 

The last clause is amusing. "Free and conscientious suffrage 1 
would have allowed Catholic electors to elect Catholic representa- 

Appeals for Secret Service Money. 

have not deigned to give any answer on the sub- 

Proclamations were actually kept up when the 
country was at peace, so that strangers would 
suppose that Ireland was a " savage .nation" — not the 
last time by any means that it was similarly mis- 
represented. Newspapers were also distributed 
gratuitously through the country. 

On the 27th August, 1781, Mr. Eden wrote to 
Lord North, complaining of the " sickening circum- 
stances" of an Irish secretaryship, and concluded his 
letter thus : 

"My Lord-Lieutenant lias repeatedly written to your lord- 
ship, both through me and through Lord Hillsborough, on the 
essential importance of obtaining from you some small help of 
secret service money. We have hitherto, by the force of good 
words, and with some degree of private expense, preserved an 
ascendancy over the press, not hitherto known here, and it is of 
an importance equal to ten thousand times its cost ; but we are 
without the means of continuing it, nor have we any fund to 
resist the factious attempts among the populace, which may 
occasionally be serious. 

" Believe me, my dear Lord, ever respectfully and affection- 
ately yours, "Wm. Eden." 

On the 13th September, he wrote again on the 
same subject : 

" Our session is drawing desperately near, and all prepara- 
tions for it are much interrupted by this alarm of an invasion. 
We much regret that your lordship has not found any means to 
assist us in the article of secret service. The press is the 
principle operative power in the government of this kingdom ; 
and we are utterly without means to influence that power. We 
are equally without means to counteract the wicked attempts 


Address to Prince of Wales. 

occasionally made in the idle and populous part of this town to 
raise mobs, and to turn the rabble against ministers ; having, 
however, repeatedly represented these points, i which nobody 
can deny,' we have done all that we can do, and must continue 
to steer through the various difficulties of this government as 
well as we can, without troops and without money, in the face 
of an armed people and general poverty." 

In 1789, Irish politics were complicated by the 
regency question. Mr. Pitt opposed, and Mr. Fox 1 
supported the unrestricted regency of the Prince of 
Wales. The Irish Parliament issued an address 

1 Mr. Fox was then at Bath to recruit his health. He had suf- 
fered severely from his hurried journey home from Boulogne on 
hearing of the king's illness. He wrote on Irish affairs to Mr. 
Fitzpatrick on the 17th February, 1789, from Bath : 

" Deak Dick, — You have heard before this of our triumphant 
majority in the House of Lords in Ireland, but I think one of the 
best parts of the news is the address having been put off till yester- 
day, which seems to remove all apprehension of the difficulty which 
you mention in your letter, and which in effect appears to me to be 
a very serious one. The delegation cannot leave Dublin till to- 
morrow ; and as probably it will not be composed of persons who 
travel like couriers, the Prince will not be able to make an answer 
till he is actually Regent here. I think this object so material that 
our friends ought more than ever to avoid anything that tends to 
delay here. 

" If the bill is passed there can be no difficulty in the Prince's 
answer, which must be acceptance, with expression of sensibility to 
the confidence in him. If, in spite of my calculations, he should be 
obliged to make his answer before the bill has passed — which, by 
the way, I hardly think possible — it must be couched in some 
general terms to which the acts he will do in a few days after must 
give the construction of acceptance. The fact is, our friends have 
gone too fast in Dublin ; but how could they conceive our extreme 
slowness here?" — Correspondence of Charles James Fox, vol. ii. 
p. 801. Ireland, loyal or disloyal, was sure to be in the wrong. 

Patriotism versus Pay. 


"requesting that his Royal Highness would take 
upon himself the government of Ireland during the 
continuation of the king's indisposition." Grattan 
1 leaded the independent party. Some curious par- 
ticulars of the fashion in which Ireland was governed 
came out. The Lord-Lieutenant, Lord Rockingham, 
positively refused to forward the address, and Parlia- 
ment was obliged to send delegates. Previous to 
their departure, the following resolution was carried 
by 115 to 83: "That his Excellency's answer to 
both Houses of Parliament, requesting him to 
transmit their address to his Royal Highness, is ill- 
advised, contains an unwarrantable and unconsti- 
tutional censure on the proceedings of both Houses, 
and attempts to question the undoubted rights and 
privileges of the Lords spiritual and temporal, and of 
the Commons of Ireland." 

A desperate struggle now commenced between 
the viceroy and the Parliament. It resolved itself 
into patriotism versus pay. Men who had no personal 
interest in the country could not be expected to be 
very patriotic — and pay carried the day. 

Peerages were sold openly and shamelessly, and 
the money thus obtained was spent in bribing those 
to whom money was more necessary, or more 
gratifying than rank. Mr. Fitzgibbon gave it to be 
understood that half a million of money was placed 
in his hands for this purpose, and he casually con- 
fessed that one address of thanks to Lord Townsend 
had cost the nation £o00,000 a few years before ! 


Parliamentary Corruption. 

Grattan, Curran, and Ponsonby offered to prove 
this bribery at the time, but they were not allowed. 
G rattan's voice, however, could not be easily 
silenced ; and he observed at a later period : 

" The threat was put into its fullest execution ; the canvass 
of the minister was everywhere — in the House of Commons, in 
the lobby, in the street, at the door of the parliamentary under- 
takers, rapped at and worn by the little caitiffs of Government, 
who offered amnesty to some, honours to others, and corruption 
to all ; and where the word of the viceroy was doubted, they 
offered their own. Accordingly, we 'find a number of parlia- 
mentary provisions were created, and divers peerages sold, with 
such effect, that the same. Parliament which had voted the chief 
governor a criminal, did immediately after give that very gover- 
nor implicit support." 1 

" They began," said Curran, " with the sale of the honour 
of the peerage— the open and avowed sale for money of the 
peerage to any man who was rich and shameless enough to be 
the purchaser." 2 

In 1790, one hundred and ten placemen sat in 
the House of Commons ; and on the 11th of July, 
Mr. Forbes declared that the pensions had been 
recently increased by upwards of £100,000. 

It was little wonder that \\ hen O'Connell arrived 
in Dublin in 1797, he found the country on the eve 
of a rebellion, and the so-called Irish Parliament 
about to extinguish itself under a weight of infamy, 
none the less contemptible because it was heavily 
gilded over by pecuniary greed. 

1 Life arid Times of Grattan, vol. iii. p. 338. 
? Life of Curran, vol. i. p. 240. 

Qrattan on Irish Affairs. 



"April 18, 1782. 
'•Sir, — I shall make no apology for writing; in the present 
posture of things I should rather deem it necessary to make an 
apology for not writing. Ireland has sent an Address, stating the 
causes of her discontents and jealousies ; thus the question between 
the two nations becomes capable of a specific final settlement. Wo 
are acquitted of being indefinite in discontents and jealousies ; we 
Lave stated the grounds of them, and they are those particulars in 
which the practical constitution of Ireland is diametrically opposite 
to the principles of British liberty. A foreign legislation t a foreign 
judicature, a legislative Privy Council, and a perpetual arnnj. It is 
impossible for any Irishman to be reconciled to any part of such a 
constitution, and not to hold in the mo^t profound contempt the 
constitution of England. Thus you cannot reconcile us to your 
claim of power, without making us dangerous to your liberty ; and 
you also will, I am confident, allow that in stating such enormities 
as just, causes of discontent and jealousy, we have asked nothing 
uhicli is not essential to our liberty. Thus we have gained another 
step in the way to a settlement. We have defined our desires and 
limited them, and committed ourselves only to what is indispensable 
to our freedom ; and have this further argument, that you have 
thought it indispensable to yours. One question then only remains — 
whether what is necessary for us to have, is safe and honourable to 
Great Britain ? 

" The perpetual Mutiny Law, and the legislative power exercised 
by the councils of loth kingdoms, it is scarcely necessary to dwell 
upon, inasmuch as I make no doubt you hold them to be mischievous 
or useless to England. The legislative power of the Council can't be 
material to the connexion, though the necessity of passing bills 
under the seal of Great Britain may be so. The power of suppress- 
ing in the Irish, and of altering in the English Council, never has 
been useful to England ; on the contrary, frequently the cause of 
embarrassment to British government. I have known Privy Coun- 
cillors agree to bills in Parliament, and in Council alter them 
materially by some strong clause inserted to show their zeal to the 
King, at the expense of the popularity of Government. In England, 
an Attorney-General, or his clerk, from ignorance, or corruption, or 
contempt, may, and often has, inserted clauses in Irish bills which 


Grattan on Irish Affairs. 

have involved Irish Governments in lasting consequences with the 
people ; for you must see that a servant of Government in Great 
Britain, uninformed of the passions of Ireland, may, in the full 
exercise of legislative power, do irreparable mischief to his king and 
country, without being responsible to either. 

" I could mention several instances, but a Mutiny Bill rendered 
perpetual is a sufficient one, to show how impolitic that law, which 
commits the machine of the constitution and the passions of the 
human mind to the hand of one man. The negativing our bills is a 
right never disputed ; the poisoning them is a practice we do most 
ardently deprecate, from sound reason and sad experience. I 
brought to Parliament a list of the alterations made, for the last ten 
years, in Irish bills by the Privy Council or Attorney- General, and 
there was not a single alteration made upon a sound legislative 
motive ; sometimes an alteration to vex the Presbyterians, made by 
the bishops ; sometimes an alteration made by an over zealous 
courtier, to make Government obnoxious and to render himself at 
the same time peculiarly acceptable to the king; sometimes an 
alteration from ignorance, and not seldom for money. 

" I shall, therefore, suppose the power of the Council no object 
to a principled Administration, and no vital question between the 
two kingdoms. We shall have then cleared the way to the great 
question of supremacy ; for I conceive the legislative and judicative 
supremacy to be one question. If you retain the legislative power, 
you must reserve the final determination of law, because you alone 
will determine the law, in support of your claim ; whereas, if you 
cede the claim, the question of judicature is one of private property, 
not national ascendancy, and becomes as useless to you as it is 
opprobrious to us. Besides, there are circumstances which render 
the appellant judicature to you the most precarious thing imagin- 
able. The Lords of Ireland have on their journals a resolution, that 
they are ready to receive appeals ; so that, after the final settlement 
with England, if the judicature was not included, any attorney might 
renew the contest. The decrees of the Lords of England, and of 
the King's Bench likewise, affecting Ireland, are executed by the 
officers of the Courts of Justice of Ireland. The judges of Ireland are 
now independent. Two of the barons, or judges, may put a total 
stop to the judicature of the Lords of England, by refusing to lend 
the process of their Courts ; so that, in order to determine your final 

G rattan on Irish Affairs. 


judicature, it would be unnecessary to go further than the authority 
of a few judges, independent of England by their tenure, dependent 
on Ireland by their residence, and perhaps influenced by conscience 
and by oath. Besides, the Gth of George I. is enacting as to the 
appealing, as well as the judicative power. If the former part stands 
we are divested of our supreme judicature by an actual exercise of 
your supreme legislative power, and then a partial repeal would be 
defective upon principles legislative, as well as jurisdictive. You 
can't cede your legislative claim, and enjoy your jurisdictive under 
its authority and exercise ; and the whole law must (if the claim of 
legislature is ceded) fall totally. The question then between the two 
nations is thus reduced to one point — Will England cede the. claim 
of supremacy ? You seem willing to cede it. Your arguments have 
led to it. AVhen I say your arguments, I mean the liberal and en- 
lightened part of England. Both nations, by what they have said — 
one by what it has admitted, and the other by what it has as- 
serted — have made the claim of England impracticable. The reserve 
of that claim, of course, becomes unprofitable odium, and the relin- 
quishment is an acquisition of affection without a loss of power. 
Thus the question between the two nations is brought to a mere 
punctilio— Can England cede with dignity ? I submit she can; for 
if she has consented to enable his Majesty to repeal all the laws re- 
specting America, nmong which the Declaratory Act is one, she can 
with more majesty repeal the Declaratory Act against Ireland, who 
has declared her resolution to stand and fall with the British nation, 
and has stated her own rights by appealing not to your fears, but 
your magnanimity. You will please to observe in our Address a 
veneration for the pride, as well as a love for the liberty of England. 
You will see in our manner of transmitting the Address, we have 
not gone to Castle with volunteers as iu 1779. It was expedient to 
resort to such a measure with your predecessors in office. In short, 
sir, you will see in our requisition nothing but what is essential to 
the liberty and composure of our country, and consistent with the 
dignity and interest of the other. These things granted, your Ad- 
ministration in Ireland will certainly meet with great support : I 
mean national as well as parliamentary. In consequence of these 
things, some laws will be necessary— an act to quiet property held 
under former judgments or decrees in England ; a Mutiny Bill ; a 
Bill to modify Poyning's Law. Possibly it might be judicious that 


Grattan on Irish A fairs. 

some of these should be moved by the Secretary here — it would con- 
tribute to his popularity. It will be perhaps prudent to adjourn to 
some further day, until the present administration have formed. 

4 4 Before I conclude I will take the liberty to guard you against 
a vulgar artifice, which the old Court (by that I mean the Carlisle 
faction) will incline to adopt. They will perhaps write to England 
false suggestions, that Ireland will be satisfied with less, and that 
the Irish Administration are sacrificing to Irish popularity British 
rights ; and then they will instigate Ireland to stand upon her ulti- 
matum, and thus embarrass Government and betray the people. I 
know this practice was adopted in Lord Buckingham's Administra- 
ticnby men mortified by his frugality. 

" Might I suggest, if you mean (as I am well inclined to believe, 
and shall be convinced by the success of our application) a Govern- 
ment by privilege, that it would be very beneficial to the character 
of your government in Ireland, to dismiss from their official con- 
nexions with Government some notorious consciences, to give a visible, 
as well as real, integrity to his Majesty's Councils in Ireland, and to 
relieve them from a certain treachery in men, who will obey you and 
betray you. 

" It w r ould be prudent to exhibit to the public eye a visible con- 
stitutional Administration. The people here have a personal anti- 
pathy to some men here who were the agents of former corruption, 
and would feel a vindictive delight in the justice of discarding them. 
"When I say this, I speak of a measure not necessary absolutely, if 
the requisitions are complied with, but very proper and very neces- 
sary to elevate the character of your government, and to protect 
from treachery your consultations ; and when I say this, it is without 
any view to myself, who under the constitutional terms set forth, am 
willing to take any part in the Administration, provided it is not 
emolumentary. Your minister here will find very great opportunities 
for vigorous retrenchment, such as will not hazard him in the House 
of Commons, and may create an enthusiasm in his favour without 

" I am running into immoderate length, and beg to conclude 
with assurances of great constitutional hopes, and personal admira- 
tion, and am with great respect, 

" Your most humble and obedient servant, 

" H. Grattan." 

Chapter /ourtb. 

1790— ISOO. 

The Northern Whig Club: The United Irishmen 
Club: Catholic Address to the King: Political 
Commotions: Treachery of Pitt: Lord Fitz- 
william, the Catholic Question, and the Beres- 
fords : Maynooth Established : The Orange 
Society: Catholic Clergy: Overzeal of O'Con- 
nell : Arrests : List of Suspected Persons : 
Lord Cornwallis' Administration : The Cromwell 
Policy: State of the Peasantry: Testimony of 
Mary Leadbetter. 


T the period when O'Con- 

nell arrived in Dublin in 

the year 1707, he had heard 

'enough of the state of public 

affairs to be fully aware that a 

dark, deep, and deadly struggle 

was at hand. It had, in fact, already 


1 In 171)0, the Northern Whig Club 

ft\ was established in Belfast, at the sugges- 

b\ tion of Lord Charlemont. Reform and par- 
liamentary independence were its avowed 
and probably its real objects. 

But neither Irish nor English Protes- 
tants were as yet free from the illogical 
bigotry of prejudice, and they declared that 
"no person ought to suffer civil hardships for his 
religious persuasion, unless the tenets of his reli- 


The Eating and Drinking Chub. 

gion lead him to endeavour at the subversion of the 
State." x 

There was a gleam of intelligence in the implied 
possibility that it might not be right, under some 
certain circumstances to persecute a man for 
following the dictates of his conscience ; there was 
an alloy of prejudice in the suggestion that Catholics, 
who were alluded to, would, or did attempt to 
subvert the State. Possibly, however, and we think 
probably, it was a sop to the Cerberus of Protestant 
ascendancy, a declaration that, though they were 
liberal, they would, under certain circumstances be 
willing to act illiberally. It was something certainly 
to the credit of humanity that a time had arrived 
when Catholics were not avowedly persecuted with- 
out the ready excuse of disloyalty. 

A banquet followed, and the toast of " the 
glorious and immortal memory" was duly honoured, 
though probably nine-tenths of those who quaffed 
the libation to the shades of the departed hero, 
would have been sorely puzzled to tell why he was 
styled "glorious," and, having serious doubts as to 
the immortality of the human race, would hardly 
have believed in his. 

Lord Clare termed it an "eating and drinking 
club," and no doubt it was. There was certainly a 
good deal of drinking. On the 14th July, 1791, the 
anniversary of the French Revolution was celebrated 
by the Protestant patriots, and they drank to the 
memory of "Thomas Paine," "and the rights of man," 

Died of Respectability. 


to "the glorious memory," and to "the majesty of 
the people." Notwithstanding all this drinking, or 
perhaps because of it — the club died out. 

Bat the principles which animated the club did 
not die out. It died of respectability. When some 
of the men who had helped to inaugurate it found 
that the club meant something more than talking and 
drinking, they gradually withdrew. Lord Charle- 
111 on t had been a member, and Lord de Clifford, and 
the Earl of Moira, and the Hon. Robert Stewart, 
afterwards Lord Castlerea^h. But the men who 
really instituted it were there still. Henry Joy, 
M'Cracken, Russell, and, above all, Samuel Neilson, 
set themselves at once to form another club, a 
political club. Mr. Xeilson went further than his 
friends ; he suggested that Catholics should be per- 
mitted to join it. 

Perhaps he saw that such a movement as he con- 
templated could not be effected without the co- 
operation of his Catholic fellow-subjects. 1 It was 

1 The following extracts from the u Lives and Times of the 
United Irishmen," second series, vol. i. p. 70, will show how the 
blameless and exemplary life of a poor Catholic servant was the 
means of removing prejudice. After all, personal knowledge of 
Catholics in private life seldom failed to do so. 

" Neilson on this occasion said, 1 Our efforts for reform hitherto 
have been ineffectual, and they deserved to be so, for they have been 
selfish and unjust, as not including the rights of the Catholics in 
the claims we put forward for ourselves.' The evening of that day, 
when the subject was first mooted, M Cracken, on his return home, 
mentioned the circumstance to a member of his family, who, in re- 


Dm igt mnon Co ) i ca dim . 

very well to talk of public action, but public action 
required men to act, and the handful of Protestants, 
however important they might be in the eyes of 
Government, had not material strength for any 
movement requiring physical force. Whether the 
United Irishmen looked to physical force at the com- 
mencement of their career or not, we cannot say, but 
there are many reasons for supposing that they did, 
In the first place, they were ardent admirers of the 
French Revolution—in the second place, they had a 
good many years' experience of the uselessness of 
addresses and petitions. 

The famous Dungannon convention was held on 
the 26th of December, 1792 ; Neilson acted as 

ference to the proposed club, expressed some doubts of Roman 
Catholics being sufficiently enlightened to co-operate with them, or 
to be trusted by their party. M'Cracken, with great earnestness, 
endeavoured to show the groundlessness of the prejudices that were 
entertained against the Catholics. His opinions were shared by one 
of his sisters (to whom I am indebted for these particulars), a person 
even then in advance of public opinion on the subject in question, 
and whose noble sentiments on most matters were above the level of 
those of ordinary minds. Her brother, she informs me, asked the 
relative who had expressed the apprehensions referred to, if there 
was not a poor old blind woman under their roof, who had spent the 
best part of her life in their family, and although she was a Roman 
Catholic, was there anything in this world they would not trust to 
her fidelity ? and if they put their whole confidence in her because 
they happened to be acquainted with her, why should they think so 
ill of those of the same creed whom they did not know ? These 
details, trivial as they may seem, are calculated to throw some light 
on the original views and principles of those persons who were the 
founders of the Northern Society of United Irishmen." 

Emancipation <i nec&sity. 


secretary. A Protestant clergyman, the Rev. Mr. 
Kelburne, used some strong lancruao-e about "our 
boasted constitution." and some language which must 
have then sounded rather treasonable about " heredi- 
tary legislation" not being desirable — because lords 
did not always inherit wisdom with their rank. 

On the loth of July, 179o. however, the delegates 
had a meeting, and expressed themselves a little more 
cautiously. They passed resolutions disapproving of 
a republican form of government for their own 
country, and expressed their belief that Catholic 
Emancipation was necessary for the safety of the 
country. 1 

1 At a public meeting' held in Belfast, on the 19th of January, 
1793, an address to his Majesty was determined on, signed, by 
order of the meeting, and in their name, by Charles Ranken, chair 
man, and Samuel Xeilson, secretary ; expressive of their gratitude 
for his Majesty's " recommendation of the situation of their Catholic 
brethren and fellow- subjects to the attention of the Irish Parlia- 
ment ;" and conveying the warmest sentiments of loyalty and attach- 
ment to his Majesty's person. 

At another meeting held in Belfast, on the 28th of January, 
1792, the particulars of which will be found in the appendix, Neil- 
s-on took an active part. In reply to an opinion expressed by Mr. 
Henry Joy, M That neither the Protestant mind was sufficiently pre- 
pared to grant, nor the Catholic one universally prepared to receive, 
a plenary and immediate exercise of every right which members of a 
State can possibly possess ;" — Xeilson expressed his "astonishment 
at hearing that, or any part of the address, called a Catholic ques- 
tion ! " To his understanding, il it no more presented a Roman 
Catholic question than a Church question, a Presbyterian, a Quaker, 
an Anabaptist, or a mountain question. The trus question was — 
whether Irishmen sliould be free." 


Riots in England. 

The Catholics came forward now, but not without 
considerable trepidation. Accustomed to centuries 
of persecution, they had hitherto only bowed to the 
tempest as it passed over them, except in some rare 
instances when war seemed the only hope of 
obtaining liberty to worship God as their conscience 
bade them. The plan was prepared by Theobald 
Wolfe Tone, a Protestant. The Catholics were to 
meet openly, and proceed openly. Five gentlemen 
were chosen to bear their address to the kin^— 
These gentlemen were Sir Thomas French, Mr. 
Byrne, Mr. Keogh, Mr. Devereaux, and Mr. Belle w. 
They went through Belfast on their way to London. 
It was not their direct road certainly, but the Protes- 
tant leaders of the United Irishmen received them in 
triumph, and the northern Presbyterians showed 
their advancement in political enlightenment by re- 
moving the horses from their carriage, and dragging 
them in triumph through the town. 

The delegates had chosen an opportune moment 
for their visit to royalty. There were fears both 
within and without ; war imminent in Europe ; and 
in England there were terrible apprehensions of 
domestic riot. Several associations had been formed 
in England demanding Parliamentary Reform, or 
seeking to obtain it ; hence it was necessary that war 
in Ireland should be averted, even at the cost of a 
few concessions. 1 

1 On the 13th Dccemhcr, 1792, at the opening of the session, 
the king addressed Parliament thus, on the state of England : " The 

Something must be done. 


Several acts were passed to avert the danger, but 
Irishmen had begun to know their power, the power 
of united Irishmen ; and when the Portland ministry 

seditious practices which had been in a great measure checked by 
your firm and explicit declaration in the last session, and by the 
general concurrence of my people in the same sentiments, have of 
late been more openly renewed, and with increased activity. A spirit 
of tumult and disorder (the natural consequence of such practices) 
has shown itself in acts of riot and insurrection, which required the 
interposition of a military force in support of the civil magistrate. 
The industry employed to excite discontent on various pretexts, and 
in different parts of the kingdom, has appeared to proceed from a 
design to attempt the destruction of our happy constitution, and the 
subversion of all order and government ; and this design has evi- 
dently been pursued in connexion and concert with persons in foreign 

Lord John Russell observes, in his " Correspondence of Fox," 
vol. iii. p. 33: " England, Prussia, and Austria, with lofty preten- 
sions of fighting for the eause of religion and order, had each 
separate and selfish objects, while the French, united and enthusi- 
astic, fought for a mock liberty — but a real independence. With the 
Allies it was a war sometimes of principles ; sometimes of provinces ; 
sometimes to restore a monarchy, sometimes to acquire Martinique. 
With the French, the most horrible tyranny, the most systematic 
murder and plunder at home, were accompanied by the most bril- 
liant courage, the most scientific plans of campaign, and the most 
entire devotion to the glory of their country." 

Mr. Fox wrote thus to Lord Holland, June 14, 1793 : " I believe 
the love of political liberty is not an error ; but, if it is one, I am 
sure I never shall be converted fioin it — and I hope you never will. 
1 f it be an illusion, it is one that has brought forth more of the best 
qualities and exertions of the human mind than all other causes put 
together ; and it serves to give an interest in the affairs of the world 
which, without it, would be insipid ; but it is unnecessary to preach 
to you upon this subject. It was only when political liberty was 
asked for in Ireland that it ceased to meet with the admiration of 
Fnglish statesmen." 


The Nation duped agam. 

was formed in 1794, it was found that something 
more substantial was necessary. Lord Fitzwilliam 
was appointed Lord-Lieutenant, and for the first 
time Grattan was taken into the councils of the so- 
called Irish Government. On the 12th of July, he 
obtained leave to bring in a bill for the relief of 
Catholics, three members only dissenting. 

But once more the nation was duped; Lord 
Fitzwilliam was recalled on the 24th of March. 
Whether the English Government really intended to 
do anything for Ireland or not, can never now be 
known. If they intended justice, it was a pity the 
intention should not have been carried out ; if they 
played a deceitful game, they might have learned by 
the result that honesty even in political matters is 
the best, because it is the wisest policy. Lord 
Fitzwilliam indeed declared that he would never 
have undertaken the government, if Catholic Eman- 
cipation had not been included in the ministerial 
programme. Possibly Mr. Pitt expected to find him 
a more pliant tool, and recalled him when he found 
the metal not malleable. 1 

1 " There were some members of the Irish Parliament certainly 
not disposed to favour the Catholic claims, who saw the folly of this 
kind of government. Sir Lawrence Parsons said : ' That the grant 
of supplies and the redress of grievances should go hand in hand. 
The only security the country had was a short Money Bill ; it had 
been tried in 1779 ; it had been tried in 1789 ; and, in both instances, 
had been of utility. The people had been led to expect great mea- 
sures ; their hopes had been raised, and now were about to be 
blasted. If the Cabinet of Great Britain had held out an assent to 

Conduct of Mr. Pi it. 


But the English Government were perfectly well 
aware of the certain result of this treachery. It lias 
been said again and again, that Mr. Pitt wished to 
drive the Irish into rebellion in order to effect the 
Union. Whether lie deliberately took measures to 
that effect or not, cannot now be discovered, but his 
public acts sufficiently show that if he had not that 
intention, he was at least fully aware that what he 
did, and what lie omitted to do, would alike lead to 
that result. His conduct was mean and dastardly ; 
no noble-minded man would have deceived a helpless 
and confident people as he deceived the Irish nation. 

M It was not until the Irish Parliament had sub- 
mitted to heavy burdens, not only by providing for 

the Catholic question, and had afterwards retracted, it was an insult 
to the nation which the House should resent. There had heen no 
meetings ; no petitions of the Protestants against the claims of the 
Catholics. It would thence he inferred that their sentiments were 
not adverse to the emancipation ; this was held out as the leading 
measure of administration ; the Responsibility Bill was another ; the 
Reform Bill was another. In consideration of these measures ad- 
ditional taxes had been voted to the amount of £250,000 ; but now 
it appeared that the country had been duped — that nothing was to 
be done for the people. If the British minister persisted in such 
infatuation, discontent would be at its height, the army must be in- 
creased, and every man must have dragoons in his house.' The 
motion was rejected by 14G to 24. Mr. Conolly then proposed three 
resolutions : ' That Lord Fitzwilliam by his public conduct since his 
arrival in Ireland deserved the thanks of the House, and the confi- 
dence of the people.' Never in the history of any nation can there 
be found such duplicity, such treachery, and such meanness as was 
practised towards the people of Ireland." — Life of Grattau, vol. iv. 
p. 188. 


The Catholic Question, 

the security of the kingdom by great military 
establishments, but likewise by assisting the empire 
at large -in the moment of its greatest distress, by 
aids great and unparalleled beyond all example ; it 
was not till Lord Fitzwilliam's popularity had 
induced the House of Commons, on the faith of 
popular questions, to grant the largest supply ever 
demanded, and a larger army than had ever before 
been voted in Ireland ; it was not till he had Jaid a 
foundation for increasing the established force of the 
country, and procured a vote of £200,000 for the 
general defence of the empire, and 20,000 men for 
the navy, and a supply to the amount of £1,800,000, 
that the British Cabinet proceeded to notice and 
reply to Lord Fitzwilliam's letters. Then, for the 
first time, the dismissal of Mr. Cooke and Mr. 
Beresford w 7 as complained of, and made a charge 
against Lord Fitzwilliam ; then, and not till then, 
commenced the accusations against him as to the 
Catholic question, and his imputed design to over- 
turn the constitution in Church and State. But a 
reference to the proceedings on this subject will 
show the futility of this charge, and that it was a 
mere pretext. Let it be recollected that this ques- 
tion, though opposed in 1793 by Lord Westmoreland 
and his friends, had been supported by Mr. Hobart • 
(the Irish Secretary) and the British Cabinet ; that 
Mr. Pitt and Mr. Dundas (Lord Melville), had given 
it their support ; that they had communicated their 
intentions to the Catholic agents in London, and 

L o i *d Fitz w il Ita m. 


their expressions (well remembered and often quoted) 
were, that "they would not risk a rebellion in 
Ireland on such a question yet the very man who 
had actually agreed to it, in conference with Mr. 
Grattan and Lord Fitzwilliam, and to the former of 
whom he had used these very remarkable words, " I 
have taken office, and I have done so because I 
knew there was to be an entire change of system," 
this Duke of Portland, in his letter to Lord Fitz- 
william, says that " to defer the Catholic question 
was not only a thing to be desired for the present, 
but the means of doing a greater service to the 
British empire than it has been capable of receiving 
since the revolution, or at least since the Union." 

On the receipt of this letter, Lord Fitzwilliam 
immediately acted with a spirit and resolution worthy 
of him. He wrote to Mr. Pitt, defended the dis- 
missal of Mr. Beresford, as necessary to the efficacy 
of his government, and left the minister to choose 
between him and Mr. Beresford. He wrote the 
same night to the Duke of Portland, stating his 
surprise at their resisting a question that had been 
long since agreed upon, and this at the expiration of 
such an interval of time — namely, from the 8th of 
January, when he first wrote about the Catholic 
. question, to the 8th of February, when it was first 
objected to by the English ministers. 

He stated the danger of hesitation or resistance, 
^nd he refused to be the person to raise a flame in 
the country, that nothing short of arms could keep 


Mr. Forbes' Letter. 

down ; and left liim to determine whether, if he was 
not to be supported, he ought not to be removed. 1 ■ 

On the 25th of February, 1795, Mr. Forbes 
wrote to Mr. Sergeant Adair. He concluded his 
letter thus : "It is reported that Pitt intends to 
overturn the Irish Cabinet by rejecting Catholic 
claims. Should he pursue that line, England will be 
involved in inextricable confusion, and it will end in 
the total alienation of Ireland/ 7 

Burke wrote to Mr. Grattan, expressing his 
indignation at the way in which he had been treated. 
In the English Parliament, there was a scene of 
mutual recrimination concerning the recall of Lord 

1 Life of Grattan, vol. iv. p. 193. — The Beresfords knew their 
power well. They knew also, though they raised a "No Popery" cry, 
that the leaders and first movers of the United Irishmen, whom they 
styled " devils," were Protestants. It mattered little to them how 
Ireland suffered, so they held place and pension. On the 4th Sept. 
1796, Mr. Beresford wrote to his friend Lord Auckland : 

" The United Irishmen of the north, alias the Dissenters and 
the Defenders, and the Papists would join them ; these two classes 
are hound hy oath, &c, whilst the mob and common people, not 
sworn, would take advantage and plunder everybody, and commit 
murders and such extravagances as are always the consequences of 
letting loose the rabble. The utmost pains have been taken by 
these devils, the United Irishmen, to prepare the minds of the dif- 
ferent classes of the people for mischief. The public prints are of 
the most seditious and inflammatory species. They have a vast 
number of emissaries constantly going through the country, to seduce 
every person they can, and swear them ; they have songs, and pro- 
phecies just written, stating all late events and what is to happen, 
as if made several years ago, in order to persuade the people that, 
as a great part of them has already come to pass, so the remainder 
will certainly happen." 

College of Maynooth. 


Fitz william, but no one concerned himself much 
about the effect that this would have in Ireland. 

The truth was that the Beresfords had determined 
from the first to ^et rid of the Lord-Lieutenant, and 
they succeeded. 1 Lord Fitzwilliam was perfectly 
aware of the cause of his dismissal, but he seems to 
have felt the deception which had been practised on 
the Irish nation, far more than the injury done to 

Lord Camden succeeded, and as the Government 
had some apprehensions lest the Catholics should 
avenge themselves in any way for the duplicity with 
which they had been treated, it was proposed to 
establish the College of Maynooth. The excuse to 
those who objected to granting even the least favour 
to Catholics, had the advantage of being a plausible 
one. It was evident that no amount of penal laws 
would prevent Catholics from becoming priests ; it 
was evident, it was indeed a matter of fact, that if 
they were not allowed to be educated in Ireland, 

1 Lord Auckland worked up the Beresford interest in London 
quietly, and with the steady determination which generally insures 
success. The Beresfords held their power solely on a "No Popery" 
cry. Any liberality — or, to speak more correctly, justice to Catho- 
lics — was fatal to their continuance in power, because they had 
made their political success depend on their religious bigotry. Mr. 
Beresford, of course, denied his great political power, but even in 
the letter which he wrote himself to Lord Auckland, who acted as 
his ambassador in the affair, he wrote so strongly of his " power of 
embarrassing Government," that Lord Auckland thought it best to 
keep back that part of his letter even froni his patron, Mr. Pitt. — 
Beresfor*} Corrrspntulence, vol. ii. pp. 50-84. 

172 Condition of the People. 

they would be educated abroad. It was said that 
being educated abroad tendered to render them 
disloyal ; and certainly to deny a man education in 
his own country, and oblige him to endure the 
labour and expense of expatriation in order to obtain 
it, was not naturally the best method of inducing 
affection for the power which compelled this course. 
It was, moreover, believed that if Government en- 
dowed Maynooth the Irish hierarchy would feel 
bound in return to support Government. It was at 
least certain to all but the most obtuse, that a 
rebellion was imminent in Ireland, and this seemed 
a probable means of enlisting the Catholic clergy on 
the side of England. 

The times were becoming daily more and more 
troubled, principally because the condition of the 
people was becoming daily worse. When men are 
starving — when they know that their starvation is 
caused by injustice, they are seldom slow to redress 
their wrongs. How patiently the Irish can suffer 
when famine comes to them as a direct visitation 
from Gocl, has been proved in later years. It is 
probable the poor Irish Catholics of the south would 
have suffered as patiently if they had not been roused 
to resistance by the stern Presbyterians of the north, 
and if the newly-formed Orange Society had not 
been allowed to attack them with impunity. 

The state of Ireland at this period was certainly 
fearful, and an eternal disgrace to those by whom it 
was governed. A Protestant writer says : 

Oran</< j UiUrniji's. 


" The Government thought, at least to retain the Church 
of England faction by uniting the interests of the ' Peep-of-Day 
boys' with that of the Church of England gentry, from which 
curious union sprung, in 1790, the Orange Society, swore to 
maintain the Protestant ascendency of 16S8. But the Orange- 
men were as lawless as the Defenders. Lord Gosford, who 
had been appointed joint lord-lieutenant of the county of 
Armagh with the Earl of Charlemont, in 1791, to counterpoise 
the AVhiggism of the latter, found it necessary in December, 
1795, to convene a meeting of the magistrates of that county, 
and call on them to put a stop to the barbarous practices of 
the Orange Society. It sufficed for a man to profess the 
Roman Catholic religion to have his dwelling burnt over bis 
head, and himself, with his family banished out of the county. 
Nearly half the inhabitants of the county of Armagh had been 
thus expatriated. To check these outbreaks of Defenders and 
Orangemen, Parliament, early in 179G, passed an insurrection 
Act. Persons administering unlawful oaths were to suffer 
death, and those who took them transportation. But in the 
terrible times which ensued, this evil was allowed to work only 
one way. The Orangemen, and other Protestant insur- 
rectionists, were allowed to bear arms, and to use them as they 
pleased. The penalties all fell upon the unhappy Catholics, 
and on such Protestants as had joined the United Irishmen, a 
numerous and powerful body." 

The high sheriff of Galway, Charles Blake, 
addessed Grattan on the alarming state of affairs, in 
the name and by the desire of the gentlemen and 
freeholders of the county. They declared it "highly 
honourable" to him, though not to the a^e, that his 
dismissal from office was considered " a necessary 
and previous stnge to the return of some that are not 
reported to love the people." The letter was short, 
manly, intelligent, and worthy of the men of Galway. 


The Catholic Clergy. 

The students of Dublin University addressed 
him, and, with a liberality quite beyond the age, 
declared most truly " that the harmony and strength 
of Ireland will be founded on the solid basis of 
Catholic Emancipation, and the reform of those 
grievances which have inflamed public indignation." 1 

Even at that moment, if the least effort had been 
made in the direction of justice to Catholics, and if 
even a trifling instalment of the justice which has 
since been done to them had been attempted, the 
rebellion of 1798 might never have been, and 
a legacy of hatred to England might have been 

The Catholic clergy were wholly on the side of 
order ; but what could they do with a starving 
people ? England had destroyed Irish trade ; they 
could not excuse this ; they could not say it is your 
own fault that you are starving, bear it as a calamity 
which you have brought on yourselves. England 
still persecuted their religion, and what was worse, 
permitted, if she did not actually encourage, Irish 
Protestants to massacre their fellow-subjects because 
they were Irish Catholics. Could this be defended ? 
Yet they did what they could ; the}^ practised 
patience, they practised submission, they preached 
practical Christianity ; and if their lessons had no 
effect, it was not because Irish Catholics were less 
faithful to the teaching of their holy faith than they 

1 " Life of Gratlan," by Lis Hon, vol. iv. pp. 222, 228. 

Dr. Lmiiyan's .Letter. 


had been in former ages, but because they believed 
that their cause was a just one. 1 

Negotiations were opened with the French 
Government by the United Irishmen in 1796. 

1 On the 10th March, 1798, Dr. Lanigan, the Catholic Dishop 
of Ossory, wrote thus to Dr. Troy, the Catholic Archbishop of 
Dublin : 

*' Dally rag get, March 10, 1 70S. 
"Most Rev. Sir, — I was absent from Kilkenny these eight 
days, and was a great part of that time occupied with the priests 
that border on the Queen's County, in consulting them, and concert- 
ing measures with them in order to prevent, if possible, the intro- 
duction of United Irishmen and their principles into this county. 
The letter you honoured me with was sent after me, and I received 
it there. I could make this short but true answer to it, that the 
charges mentioned there against the priests and me are false, mali- 
cious, and groundless. It is necessary, perhaps, to prove this more 
at large. I beg your patience, then, while I state the facts as they 

"A sermon was preached in St. James's chapel, about a month 
ago, on faith — its necessity, its utility, and the conditions required 
for true faith. The preacher had in view only to confute the lax 
principles of the richer Roman Catholics, vho, under pretext of 
liberality of sentiment, wished to establish an indifference about all 
religion and all religious modes of worship." — Memoirs of Viscoimt 
Castlereagk, vol. i. p. 161. 

The upper classes of Catholics were sorely tempted to apostatise. 
The cause of this temptation has been already fully explained. The 
consecpuence was, that the} 7 kept very much aloof from their former 
Catholic brethren. Mr. Grattan says, in his "Life of his Father," 
vol. iv. p. 50 : "In late as well as in early times the Irish aristo- 
cracy have attached themselves too much to party in England, and 
have forgotten the real interests of their own nation. The wise 
policy would have been to have attended exclusively to their own 
country — a course more politic, though less profitable." The treat- 
ment which the upper classes had received during the Trish revolu- 
tion tended to strcnghten this feeling still greater. 


O'Connell ® United Irishman. 

Lord Edward Fitzgerald, Arthur O'Connor a gentle- 
man of property in the county of Cork, and Theobald 
Wolfe Tone a barrister, were the persons selected 
for this undertaking. 

O'Connell's son, in writing his father's Memoir, 
was naturally anxious to screen his father from the 
discredit of being a United Irishman. That he was, 
there is not the slightest doubt for he has left the 
fact on record himself. His naturally enthusiastic 
temperament led him to throw himself eagerly into 
any scheme likely to benefit his country. He joined 
the artillery corps on his arrival in Dublin ; and the 
division to which he belonged, known as the 
" Lawyers' Artillery," was said to have been the best 
got up, and best equipped in Dublin. 1 

He also joined a debating society which met in 
Eustace Street, where the stirring events of the times 
were freely canvassed. Here he says : 

" I had many good opportunities of acquiring valuable in- 
formation, upon which I very soon formed my own judgment. 
Tt was a terrible time. The political leaders of the period 
could not conceive such a thing as a perfectly open and above- 
board political machinery. My friend, Richard Newton Ben- 

1 The uniform of the lawyers' corps was scarlet and blue, their 
motto, Pro avis etfocis ; the attorney's regiment of Volunteers was 
scarlet and Pomona green ; a corps called the Irish Brigade, and 
composed principally of Catholics (after the increasing liberality of 
the day had permitted them to become Volunteers) wore scarlet and 
white ; other regiments of Irish brigades wore scarlet faced with 
green, and their motto was Vox populi suprema lex est; the gold- 
smiths' corps, commanded by the Duke of Leinster, wore blue, faced 
with scarlet and a professional profusion of gold lace. 

(/Connell in uangi r. 177 

nctt, was an adjunct to the Directory of United Irishmen. I 
was myself a United Irishman. As I saw how matters worked, 
I soon learned to have no secrets in politics." 1 

O'Connell lodged in Trinity Place. A gentleman 
who knew Dublin well at that period describes it as 
" an almost unexplored nook." He was very intimate 
with Mr. Murray, a respectable grocer who resided 
at Xo. 3 South Great George's Street, and who, like 
most Irishmen of the period, was in heart a rebel. 
That O'Connell was then in favour of physical force 
there can be no doubt, however he may have wished 
in later years to throw a veil of oblivion over his 
boyish ardour. A rising was expected literally every 
night, and Major Sirr was patrolling Dublin eager to 
exercise his bloody mission on the suspected. 

On one memorable evening O'Connell, excited 
partly by drink and partly by patriotism, and always 
readv to be first in the frav, was eager to join a 
meeting of United Irishmen that very night, and to 
swear in new members ; but his host, more prudent 
though by no means less patriotic, 2 induced the 

1 i; Personal Recollections," by O'Neill Daunt. 

* Mr. Murray's son, who must have been thoroughly well- 
informed on the subject, has left the following account of the affair 
on record, which I quote from the M Sham Squire," with the author's 
permission : M We are indebted to the late Mr. Peter Murray, of the 
Registry of Deeds Office, Dublin, a man of scrupulous veracity, for 
the following curious reminiscence of O'Connell in 1798 : 1 My father, 
a respectable cheesemonger and grocer, residing at 3 South Great 
George's Street, was exceedingly intimate with O'Connell, when a law 
student, and during his earlier career at the bar. Mr. O'Connell, at 
the period of which I speak, lodged in Trinity Place adjacent, an 



A Narrow Escape. 

enthusiastic, youth to accompany him to the canal 
bridge at Leeson Street, where he saw him safely on 
board a turf boat and out of harm's way. It was well 
that this had been accomplished, for Mr. Murray's 
house was searched that night by Major Sirr. 

In one of O'Connell's communications to Mr. 
O'Neill Daunt, he mentions leaving Dublin in June 
1798, in a boat, and having paid the pilot half a 
guinea to put him on shore at Cork. Indeed, it was 
impossible at that time to travel in any other way. 

almost unexplored nook, and to many of our citizens a terra incognita. 
I well remember O'Connell, one night at my father's house during 
the spring of 1798, so carried away by the political excitement of the 
day, and by the ardour of his innate patriotism, calling for a prayer- 
book to swear in some zealous young men as United Irishmen at a 

meeting of the body in a neighbouring street. Counsellor ■ was 

there, and offered to accompany O'Connell on his perilous mission. 
My father, although an Irishman of advanced liberal views and 
strong patriotism, was not a United Irishman, and endeavoured, but 
without effect, to deter his young and gifted friend from the rash 
course in which he seemed embarked. Dublin was in an extremely 
disturbed state, and the outburst of a bloody insurrection seemed 
hourly imminent. My father resolved to exert to the uttermost the 
influence which it was well known he possessed over his young 
friend. He made him accompany him to the canal bridge at Leeson 
Street, and after an earnest conversation, succeeded in persuading the 
future Liberator to step into a turf boat which was then leaving 
Dublin. That night my father's house was searched by Major Sirr, 
accompanied by the attorneys' corps of yeomanry, who pillaged it to 
their hearts' content. There can be no doubt that private informa- 
tion of O'Connell's tendencies and haunts had been communicated 
to the government.' " — The Sham Squire; or, The Rebellion in Ire- 
land, page 305. Dublin : Kelly. 

Mr. John O'Connell gives an account of the affair which was 
evidently " revised." He says : "On one occasion, however (per- 

Out of Harm's Way. 


Bands of armed men were marching in every direc- 
tion through the country, and as neither party was 
very particular as to identity, the most peaceful 
traveller was not free from danger. It would appear 
probable that O'Connell remained in the peaceful 
wilds of Kerry during the most eventful period of 
the Rebellion. It was at that time that he contracted 
the fever previously mentioned. But even then news 
travelled to that remote locality, and the terrible 

haps the only one of his life), at the table of Mr. Murray, already 
mentioned, about the month of March, of the year 1798, he was be- 
trayed, by the heat of a political discussion, into some forgctfulness 
of his constant habit of temperance ; and took what to him was in- 
convenient, although to the well-soaked brains of most of his com- 
peers it would have been of no consequence. Returning that night 
full of self-reproach and annoyance at the unaccustomed sensations 
he had subjected himself to, his interposition to save a wretched 
female from the blows of some cowardly ruflians in the garb of 
gentlemen, drew upon him the attack of the whole party ; but for a 
while (owing to his great strength and activity) with signal discom- 
fiture to themselves, three being knocked down by him in succession. 
However, one of the latter, on getting up, came behind and pinioned 
him, and so he was overpowered — receiving, while in this defenceless 
position, and ere he could free himself, several blows on the face, by 
which it was so disfigured as to render a few days' confinement to 
the house advisable. While under this irksome restraint, his land- 
lord, a most respectable tradesman (well known long afterwards to 
the theatre-going folk as Regan the fruiterer), then purveyor to the 
Castle of Dublin, took the liberty of his years, and permitted but 
respectful familiarity, to warn his young lodger from committing 
himself politically —detailing the dark hints rife in the purlieus of 
the Castle, of the deep and fearful game the government were play- 
ing in allowing the insurrection to mature, while they kept them- 
selves ready, and had it in their power to lay hands upon its leaders 
at any moment." — Memoirs of O'Connell, by bis Son, vol. i. p. 15. 


Lord Edward Fitzgerald. 

Eevolution of '98 was read, not as we read it now, as 
a tale of horrors long past, but as a terrible tragedy 
then being enacted hour by hour, and of which the 
end was not known yet. 

Grattan withdrew from politics, hopeless of in- 
ducing the Government to do justice — or the peo- 
ple to bear injustice. The United Irishmen only 
numbered two men of rank amongst their leaders, 
Lord Edward Fitzgerald and Arthur O'Connor. 
Lord Edward belonged to the noble house of 
Leinster, and had learned to desire liberty, not for a 
class but for all — first in America, 1 where he had 
served under Lord Cornwallis, and then in France, 

1 Lord Edward Fitzgerald's letters to bis mother from America 
show the singular tenderness of his nature, and his delicate thought- 
fulness for others, and especially for his good mother. He wrote, 
" She has a rope about my neck that gives bard tugs at it, and it is 
all I can do not to give way." How terrible was the last " giving 
way" of that fond heart, can only be realised by natures as sensitive 
as his. Writing about some business, he says : "I believe there is 
un bien clique of fellows in that country. Pray do not let any of 
them into Kilrush, for they will only distress and domineer over the 
poor tenants." — Memoirs of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, vol. i. p. 124. 
Lord Edward was treated most cruelly after his capture, notwith- 
standing his high rank. It is said that Lord Clare urged him to 
escape, and said every port in the country would be left open to 
him, but his nature was far too chivalrous to seek his own safety 
while others were in danger. 

The late Lord Holland furnishes, in his " Memoirs," many in- 
teresting illustrations of Lord Edward's sweet and gentle disposition : 
"With the most unaffected simplicity and good nature he would 
palliate, from the force of circumstances or the accident of situation, 
the perpetrators of the very enormities which had raised his high 
spirit and compassionate nature to conspire and resist. It was this 

Arrest of Fifteen Leaders. 


where he had attended a political dinner at which 
lie accepted the title of " Citizen." O'Connor was 
nephew and heir to Lord Longueville, by whom he 
was brought into Parliament in 1790. 

Fifteen leaders of the United Irishmen were 
seized in Belfast on the 14th of April, 1797. They 
were all Protestants, and of the number there were 
seven Presbyterian ministers and three Covenanters. 
Their papers were examined, and afForded an excuse 
for fresh cruelties. In the very lace of the fact, that 
these men, who were the real originators of the re- 
volt, were Protestants, the fiercest punishments were 
inflicted on the Catholics. When Lord Cornwallis 
arrived in Ireland, he found his difficulty was not so 
much to repress the rebellion as to quiet those who 
were exciting and increasing it by their blood-thirsty 
rage. Everyone who had a grudge against a neigh- 
bour denounced him as a rebel ! Every one who 
wanted to gain favour with government sent in a list 
of suspected persons ! This was often done secretly ; 

kindness of heart that led him, on his deathbed, to acquit the officer 
who inflicted his wounds of all malice, and even to commend him 
for an honest discharge of his duty. It was this sweetness of dis- 
position that enabled him to dismiss with good humour one of his 
bitterest persecutors, who had visited him in his mangled condition, 
if not to insult his misfortunes, with the idle hope of extorting his 
secret. 'I would shake hands willingly with you,' said he, 'but 
mine are cut to pieces. However, I'll shake a toe, and wish you 
good-bye.' " His family felt his treatment bitterly. His brother, 
Lord Henry Fitzgerald, wrote to Lord Camden reproaching him with 
his cruelty ; but it was useless — cruelty was the order of the day. 
See Memoirs of G rattan, vol. iv. p. 387. 


List of those suspected. 

no name was given, and yet government, or those 
who were acting in the name of government, pro- 
ceeded at once to hang, shoot, or torture the un- 
happy victims. 1 

1 Mr. Dundas forwarded one of these lists from a man " who 

would not come forward," to Sir Ralph Abercrombie. The list is a 

curiosity, and shows how such matters were arranged. 

Return of Suspected Persons, 

Stephen Garry, Kildare ; Treasurer to the County meeting. 

Waller Mooney, Friarstown; representative to Surgeon Cummings. 

Michael Lee, Kildare ; deeply engaged, and a Captain. 

James Kelly, Kildare ; a Committee-man, and knows much. 

Patrick Byrne, Ballysax ; a Captain, much with Lord Edward Fitz- 

Hugh Toole, Conlanstown ; Treasurer Kildare Meeting. 
Patrick Conlan, Conlanstown ; a supposed assassin. 
John Conlan, Conlanstown. 
Dominick Conlan, Brownstown. 
Maurice Conlan, Brownstown. 
Matthew Conlan, Ballysax. 

— Conlan, his son, Ballysax. 

Thomas Gannon, Ballyfair ; deep in the secret. 

Michael Barnes, Ballyfair ; used to be much with Lord Edward 

Edward Burne, Landcroft. 
Christopher Flood, Cut Bush. 

— Deering, Maddenstown ; his son a Captain, and now in jail. 
Edmund Bell, Hond Home, on the Curragh ; has a meeting every 

Sunday at his home at 10 o'clock. 
Thomas Kelly, Postmaster of Kilcullen ; a Captain, and swears in 

Patrick Doyle, Kilcullen ; a Captain, and deeply concerned. 

— Flood, Kilcullen. 

— Daly, son to Edward Daly, Kilcullen ; a Captain of the half- 
barony of Kilcullen. 

Lawrence Byrne, Ballysax ; a blacksmith, and supposed to have 
made most of the pikes. 

It will be seen that whole families were marked out for slaughter 

Excesses of the Military. 


The excesses committed by the army were so 
horrible that we cannot defile these pages with them. 
On the 31st of August, 1798, Lord Cornwallis issued 
general orders in the vain hope of improving their 
conduct : he might as well have tried to control the 
west wind. 

Ballinamore, 31a7 August 1798. 

u It is with very great concern that Lord Cornwallis finds 
himself obliged to call on the General Officers and the Com- 
manding Officers of regiments in particular, and in general on 

— that in many cases no reason whale ver is given for the accusation, 
and that in many more the unhappy men were only " supposed" to 
be guilty. Mr. Dundas concludes this letter by saying : " Every- 
thing goes on quietly, but we have been obliged to destroy a large 
quantity of whiskey, without which the troops would have got drunk, 
and done much mischief." The yeomen and military were drunk 
h:df their time, and those wretches were the men to whom full 
liberty was granted to kill and torture any one on mere suspicion, 
or even without that excuse. 

Sir Ralph Abcrcrombie was too gallant an officer to encourage, 
or if he could help it, to practise such atrocities, but no one had 
control over the army, which he declared " was formidable to every 
one but the enemy." Lord Castlereagh wrote to General Lake, 
who succeeded Sir Ralph on the same subject. 

" Dublin Castle, April 25th, 1798. 

" Sir, — It having been represented to his Excellency the Lord- 
Lieutenant, that much evil may arise to the discipline of the troops 
from their being permitted for any length of time to live at free 
quarters, that the loyal and well- affected have in many instances 
suffered in common with the disaffected, from a measure which does 
not admit in its execution of sufficient discrimination of persons, I 
am directed by his Excellency to request that you will advert to 
these inconveniences, and adopt such other vigorous and effectual 
measure* for enforcing the speedy surrender of arms as in your dis- 
cretion you shall think fit, and which shall appear to you not liable 
to these objections." — Memoirs of Viscount Castlereagh, vol. i. p. 187. 


A Vain Appeal. 

• the officers of the army, to assist him in putting a stop to the 
licentious conduct of the troops, and in saving the wretched 
inhabitants from being robbed, and in the most shocking 
manner ill-treated, by those to whom they had a right to look 
for safety and protection. 

" Lord Cornwallis declares, that if he finds that the soldiers 
of any regiment have had opportunities of committing these 
excesses from the negligence of their officers, he will make 
those officers answerable for their conduct ; and that if any 
soldiers are caught either in the act of robbery, or with the 
articles of plunder in their possession, they shall be instantly 
tried, and immediate execution shall follow their conviction. 

" A Provost-Marshal will be appointed, who will, with his 
guard, march in the rear of the army, and who will patrol about 
the villages and houses in the neighbourhood of the camp." 

Lord Cornwallis has been accused of partiality to 
Ireland because he would not countenance cruelty, 
though he could not prevent it. We therefore give 
other testimony — Captain Taylor wrote from Balli- 
namore on the 31st of August, 1798 : 

" We halt here this day to give the Queen's and 29th time 
to join us : they have made a most expeditious inarch from 
Wexford, and will be at Ballinasloe this day. We shall pro- 
ceed towards Tuam to-morrow, and they will march in the 
same direction. As far as we can learn as yet, the French are 
still at Castlebar, entrenching themselves, and drilling those of 
the inhabitants who have joined. Among the latter I fear there 
are some of the Longford and Kilkenny : those regiments 
marched to this place yesterday, and upon our arrival were 
immediately ordered on towards Athlone. Their conduct, and 
that of the Carabineers and Frazers, in action on the retreat 
from Castlebar and Tuam, and the depredations the}' com- 

Lord ComtcaUis. 


nutted on the road, exceed, I am told, all description. Indeed, 
they have, I believe, raised a spirit of discontent and disaffec- 
tion which did not before exist in this part of the country. 
Every endeavour has been used to prevent plunder in our 
corps, but it really is impossible to stop it in some of the 
regiments of militia with us, particularly the light battalions." 

With the intelligence of a master mind, and the 
clearness of an unprejudiced mind, Lord Cornwallis 
studied and fathomed the " Irish difficulty." It 
would have been well for both countries if counsels 
like his had prevailed, lie saw that the system 
hitherto pursued was bad ; l certainly it had been 

I The following letter deserves consideration even at the present 

11 Marquis Cornwallis to the Duke of Portland. 
[Secret and Confidential,] 

" Dublin Castle, Sept. 16, 1798. 
" My dear Lord, — If I have not appeared to give my senti- 
ments to your Grace with the utmost freedom, and to speak with 
the most perfect openness of heart on the subject both of men and 
measures in this country, I most earnestly request that you will 
believe that such apparent reserve has not proceeded from a want of 
the most affectionate regard personally to yourself, or the most entire 
confidence in your uprightness and honour, but in truth from my 
not being able to give you opinions which I had not formed, or to 
explain things which I was not sure that I understood. 

II The quick succession of important events during the short 
period of my Lieutenancy has frequently diverted my attention 
from the pursuit of that great question — How this country can be 
governed and preserved, and rendered a source of strength and 
power, instead of remaining a useless and almost intolerable burthen 
to Great Britain. 

" Your Grace will not be so sanguine as to expect that I am now 
going to tell you that I have succeeded in making this discovery. 

Failure of English Policy. 

thoroughly tested, and as certainly it had entirely 
failed. Protestant ascendancy had been allowed full 
swing, yet Ireland was not prosperous. Trade had 
been suppressed vigorously, yet England was not 
benefited. A few individuals certainly gained by 
the public loss, and these individuals contrived to 
impress the English nation with a terrible fear of 
losing Ireland if they were not permitted to carry 
out their selfish policy. Unfortunately, the great 
mass of Englishmen were utterly ignorant of the 
true state of Ireland, and had a traditional belief, not 
easily shaken, that the worst which could be said of 
her was probably far short of the truth. 

There were men, even of rank and station, whom 
nothing could satisfy except a universal massacre of 

Sorry am I to say, that I have made no further progress than to 
satisfy myself that, a perseverance in the system which has hitherto 
been pursued, can only lead us from bad to worse, and after exhaust- 
ing the resources of Britain, must end in the total separation of the 
two countries. 

" The principal personages here who have long been in the habit 
of directing the counsels of the Lords-Lieutenant are perfectly 
well-intentioned, and entirely attached and devoted to the British 
connexion ; but they are blinded by their passions and prejudices, 
talk of nothing but strong measures, and arrogate to themselves the 
exclusive knowledge of a country, of which, from their mode of 
governing it, they have, in my opinion, proved themselves totally 

" To these men I have shown all civility and kindness in my 
power, and have done for them all ordinary favours which they have 
asked, but I am afraid that they are not satisfied with me, because . 
I have not thrown myself blindly into their hands. With the 
Chancellor, who can with patience listen to the words Papist and 

The Cromwell Policy* 


the Irish — who prayed for a second Cromwell ; men 
who were too completely blinded by prejudice to be 
capable of reasoning either on the past or the present, 
men who could not see, or who would not see, that 
Cromwell's policy was being enacted not in one part 
of Ireland alone, but from the east to the west, 
wherever English soldiers could be sent. And what 
had Cromwell's policy done — we will not say for 
Ireland, because Ireland was not for a moment con- 
sidered by such persons — but what had his policy 
effected in Ireland for English interests ? Had it 
decreased the population of Ireland ? For a time, 
certainly ; while the land ran rivers of blood, and 
women and children lay writhing in death-throes of 
agony beneath the sword of men who took on them 

Moderation, I have invariably talked on all public points which 
have occurred, and I have shown no marks of confidence to any 
other set of men, and have particularly given no countenance what- 
ever to those who opposed the former government. I have at 
all times received the greatest assistance from Lord Castlereagh, 
whose prudence, talents, and temper, I cannot sufficiently com- 

" No man will, I believe, be so sanguine as to think that any 
measures which government can adopt would have an immediate 
effect on the minds of the people, and I am by no means prepared 
to say what those should be, which slowly and progressively tend to 
that most desirable object. 

' 1 1 have hitherto been chiefly occupied in checking the growing 
evil, but so perverse and ungovernable are the tempers here, that I 
cannot flatter myself that I have been very successful. 

" "With regard to future plans, I can only say that some mode 
must be adopted to soften the hatred of the Catholics to our govern- 


The Curse of Cromwell. 

to commit the deadliest crimes in the name of the 
God of mercy. 

Was Ireland more contented, more easily satisfied 
with injustice ? Had the great end been gained of 
making her submit in silence to her oppressor ? By 
no means. All history refutes the supposition. 
What, then, did Cromwell's policy do for English 
interests in Ireland ? It simply made them a 
thousand times more precarious than ever, it simply 
left a legacy of undying hatred to those who assisted 
him in doing his evil will. " The curse of Cromwell 
on you," is to the present day the bitterest impre- 
cation that one Irish peasant can use to another — 
and the curse of that man's evil deeds will never 
cease to lie dark and heavy between the English and 
Irish shores. A. century of honest, manly justice to 
Ireland might indeed help to repair it, might blot 
out the darker shades of its iniquity, but it would 
need some such remedy. If Irish rebels burned and 
pillaged English yeomen, they had learned the lesson 
from Cromwell. He massacred the defenceless from 
the pure love of blood and cruelty ; they did but 
strive to defend the defenceless in such fashion as 
they could. 1 

1 We happen to know that the Cromwell theory has not died out 
yet. It has, at least, the merit of simplicity, but it would be a little 
difficult of execution in this nineteenth century, when there would 
be some millions of Irish in America, 

" To know the reason why." 

On the 27th July, 1798, Lord Clifden wrote from Dublin to the 
Speaker of the English House of Commons : 

The Uhfiappy Peasantry. 

How defenceless the unhappy Irish peasantry were 
at this period, is evident from a letter of the Marquis 
of Cornwallis to the Duke of Portland, dated Dublin 
Castle, June 28th, 1798, in which he says : 

" The accounts that you see of the numbers of the enemy 
destroyed in every action, are, I conclude, greatly exaggerated, 
from my own knowledge of military affairs, I am sure that a 
very small proportion of them only could be killed in battle ; 
and I am much afraid that any man in a brown coat who is 
found within several miles of the field of action, is butchered 
without discrimination. 

" It shall be one of my first objects to soften the ferocity of 
our troops, which I am afraid, in the Irish corps at least, is 
not confined to the private soldiers. 

M There certainly is a great want of discipline, and the strongest 
spirit of plunder, in the troops. The north is quiet, and will, from 
all I hear, remain so. The}' don't like to have their throats cut by 
the southern Catholics. Some good priests there are, and many 
loyal Catholics, but the mass of them are rebels, and the priests who 
are infected with this villany excite them to massacre the Protes- 
tants as a means, together with the hope of plunder, to drive them 
on in the rebellion. It is a miserable thing to say, but, from all I 
have seen and know, I am perfectly convinced that while everything 
round them has improved, the minds and feelings of the lower class 
of the Catholics of Ireland are exactly what they were in 1641. 
This is possible, and what I could not have believed four months 
ago, nor at all, had I not seen the proof with my own eyes. They 
arc, however, to be brought to reason, as Cromwell brought them 
then, and by no other means, as the event will prove. In my 
opinion, a union would be the salvation of both islands." — Diary of 
Lord Colchester, vol. i. p. 160. 

It is dilHcult to understand how the Irish peasantry could have 
improved, when they were neither allowed education nor commerce. 


Violence — Civil and Military. 

" I shall use my utmost exertions to suppress the folly 
which has been too prevalent in this quarter, of substituting 
the word Catholicism instead of Jacobinism, as the foundation 
of the present rebellion." 

On the 1st of July lie wrote : 

" The violence of our friends, and their folly in endeavouring 
to make it a religious war, added to the ferocity of our troops 
who delight in murder, most powerfully counteract all plans of 

"The Irish militia are totally without discipline, con- 
temptible before the enemy when any serious resistance is 
made to them, but ferocious and cruel in the extreme when 
any poor wretches, either with or without arms, come within 
their power ; in short, murder appears to be their favourite 

" The principal persons of this country, and the members 
of both Houses of Parliament, are, in general, averse to all 
acts of clemency, and although they do not express, and 
perhaps are too much heated to see the ultimate effects which 
their violence must produce, would pursue measures that could 
only terminate in the extirpation of the greater number of the 
inhabitants, and in the utter destruction of the country. The 
words Papists and Priests are for ever in their mouths, and by 
their unaccountable policy they would drive four-fifths of the 
community into irreconcilable rebellion ; and in their warmth 
they lose sight of the real cause of the present mischief, of that 
deep-laid conspiracy to revolutionise Ireland on the principles 
of France, which was originally formed, and by wonderful 
assiduity brought nearly to maturity by men who had no 
thought of religion but to destroy it, and who knew how to turn 
the passions and prejudices of the different sects to the advance- 

The Skackleions. 


ment of their horrible plot for the introduction of that most 
dreadful of all evils, a Jacobin revolution." 

We have given sufficient English authority to 
show the state of Ireland at the period of O'ConnelTs 
entrance into public life. Many Irish authorities 
might have been quoted, but we are so fully aware 
of English misconception of the whole subject, and 
of the prejudice which exists against the accounts 
even of Irish Protestants, who have given truthful 
narratives of the times, that wc do not introduce 
their authority here. But there is one authority 
little known, and seldom, as far as wc are aware, 
quoted, to which few can object, as likely to be 
prejudiced unduly on either side — it is that of the 
gentle and gifted Mary Leadbetter, a member of the 
Society of Friends. 

Mr. Shackleton, Mrs. Leadbetter's father, kept a 
famous school at Ballitore, in the county Kildare. 
The village lies on the high road to Cork, about 
twenty miles from Dublin. It was almost a Quaker 
settlement, but many Irish gentlemen were glad to 
confide the education of their sons to the con- 
scientious and able schoolmaster. Mrs. Leadbetter 
wrote, amongst other works, " The Annals of 
Ballitore," in which she gives a charming description 
of her home. Edmund Burke was educated there, 
and kept up a life-long correspondence with the 
Shackletons, honorable alike to master and pupil. 
His correspondence forms a considerable and most 
interesting portion of the volume. All was happy in 


Mrs. Leadbetter s Testimony. 

that happy home till the dread hour when the " Irish 
rising" was put down with merciless cruelty. With 
a few extracts from Mrs. Leadbetter's narrative, we 
conclude this painful subject. 

The Shackleton family were treated by both 
sides with consideration, though they had a a green 1 
cloth" on their table which they did not remove. 
We suspect the sympathies of the gentle Friends 
were rather with the people ; but how could it be 
otherwise, when the people were always eager to 
serve them in any way ? Their house was visited 
frequently both by the insurgents and the military. 
The following are some of the many scenes of horror 
which Mrs. Leadbetter records : 

" Every one seemed to think that safety and security were 
to be found in my brother's house. Thither the insurgents 
brought their prisoners, and thither also their own wounded 
comrades. It was an awful sight to behold in that large 
parlour such a mingled assembly of throbbing, anxious hearts — 
my brother's own family, silent tears rolling clown their faces ; 
the wives of the loyal officers, the wives of the soldiers, the 
wives and daughters of the insurgents, the numerous guests, 

1 The writer knew a lady, since dead, who was unhappy enough 
to have seen a young man taken up, and hanged without any trial, 
or even attempt at a trial, simply because he wore a necktie which 
was partly green. One of the favourite ballads of the period, and 
which indeed is still sung by the peasants, alludes to this as a com- 
mon practice. " The Wearing of the Green" is perhaps one of the 
most soul-stirring of all the Irish rebel-songs — 

" Oh ! such a wretched country, 
As this was never seen, 
For they're hanging men and women, 
For the wearing of the green." 

Mrs. Leadbetters Testimony. 


the prisoners, the trembling women — all dreading to see the 
door open, lest some new distress, some fresh announcement 
of horrors should enter. It was awful ; but every scene was 
now awful, and we knew not what a day might bring forth. 

" Young girls dressed in white, with green ribbons, and 
carrying pikes, accompanied the insurgents. They had patrols 
and a countersign, but it was long before they could decide 
upon the password. 

" At length they fixed upon the word 1 scourges.' Sen- 
tinels were placed in various parts of the village. One day 
as L went to my brothers, a sentinel called to a man who 
walked with me not to advance on pain of being shot. The 
sentinel was my former friend ' the Canny.' I approached 
him, and asked, would he shoot me if I proceeded ? 1 Shoot 
yom !' exclaimed he, taking my hand and kissing it, adding a 
eulogium on the Quakers. 

1 ' I told him it would be well if they were all of our way of 
thinking, for then there would be no such work as the present. 
I thought I could comprehend 1 the Camay's' incoherent 
answer, * Ay ! but you know our Saviour — the scourges, oh ! 
the scourges !' 

Then raising himself in his stirrups, he revoked the orders 
given to his men to fire upon every man in coloured clothes. 
Oh, rash and cruel orders, which exposed to such danger lives 
of such value, which if thus sacrificed no regrets could have 
restored ! Nothing can justify such commands. 

" Soldiers came in for milk ; some of their countenances 
were pale with anger, and they grinned at me, calling me 
names which I had never heard before. They said I had 
poisoned the milk which I gave them, and desired me to drink 
some, which I did with much indignation. Others were civil, 
and one inquired if we had had any United Irishmen in the 
house. I told them we had. In that fearful time the least 



Mrs. Lead-better's Testimony. 

equivocation, the least deception, appeared to me to be fraught 
with danger. The soldier continued his inquiry — ' Had they 
plundered us ?' ' No, except of eating and drinking.' ' Oh, 
free quarters/ he replied, smiled and went away. A fine 
looking man, a soldier, came in in an extravagant passion ; 
neither his rage nor my terror could prevent me from observing . 
that this man was strikingly handsome ; he asked me the 
same questions in the same terms, and I made the same 
answer. He cursed me with great bitterness, and raising his 
musket, presented it to my breast. I desired him not to shoot 
me. It seemed as if he had the will but not the power to do 
so. He turned from me, dashed pans and jugs off the kitchen 
table with his musket, and shattered the kitchen window. 
Terrified almost out of my wits, I ran out of the house, followed 
by several women almost as much frightened as myself. When 
I fled my fears gained strength, and I believed my enemy was 
pursuing ; I thought of throwing myself into the river at the 
foot of the garden, thinking the bullet could not hurt me in the 
water. One of our servants ran into the street to call for help. 
William Kichardson and Charles Coote, who kindly sat on 
their horses outside our windows, came in and turned the 
ruffian out of the house. That danger passed, I beheld from 
the back window of our parlour the dark-red flames of Gavin's 
house, and others, rising above the green of the trees. At the 
same time a fat tobacconist from Carlow lolled upon one of our 
chairs, and talked boastingly of the exploits performed by the 
military whom he had accompanied ; how they had shot several, 
adding, ' We burned one fellow in a barrel.' I never in my 
life felt disgusted so strongly ; it even overpowered the horror 
due to the deed which had been actually committed." 

(Chapter g\ftk 

1798— ISO I. 

First Circuit: At the Bar: Jerry Keller: Bar 
Stories: Promise of Success: Clear Ideas of Fox: 
The Irish Parliament: The Union: Policy of 
Pitt : Bribery : The Priests : Concussion in 
Voting : Letter of Mr. Luke Fox: The Bar and 
the Union: (( The Anti-Union :" First Speech: 
Anti-Union Resolutions: Personal Appearance: 
Grattan and Pitt : Personal Danger. 


B'CONNELL went his first 
circuit in 1798. He had 
only just recovered from 
the fever already men- 
tioned, which was so 
nearly fatal, but his vigo- 
& rous constitution enabled him to bear both 
f// then and in later life what might have 
proved beyond the strength of others less 
favoured in that way. We give here his 
own account of this illness : 

" It was occasioned," said he, " by sleeping in 
wet clothes. I had dried them upon me at a 
peasant's fire, and drank three glasses of whiskey, 
after which I fell asleep. The next day I hunted, 
was soon weary, and fell asleep in a ditch under 
sunshine. I became much worse ; I spent a fortnight in great 
discomfort, wandering about and unable to eat. At last, when 


The Intellect Untouched, 

I could no longer battle it out, I gave up and went to bed. 
Old Doctor Moriarty was sent for ; he pronounced me in a high 
fever. I was in such pain that I wished to die. In my 
ravings I fancied that I was in the middle of a wood, and that 
the branches were on fire around me. I felt my backbone 
stiffening for death, and I positively declare that I think what 
saved me was the effort I made to rise up, and show my father, 
who was at my bedside, that I knew him. I verily believe 
that effort of nature averted death. During my illness I used 
to quote from the tragedy of Douglas these lines : 

' Unknown I die ; no tongue shall speak of me ; 
Some noble spirits, judging by themselves, 
May yet conjecture what I might have proved ; 
And think life only wanting to my fame.' 

I used to quote those lines under the full belief that my illness 
would end fatally. Indeed, long before that period— when I 
was seven years old — yes, indeed, as long as ever I can recollect, 
I always felt a presentiment that I should write my name on 
the page of history. I hated Saxon domination. I detested 
the tyrants of Ireland. During the latter part of my illness, 
Doctor Moriarty told me that Buonaparte had got his whole 
army to Alexandria, across the desert. ' That is impossible,' 
said I, 1 he cannot have done so; they would have starved.' 
' Oh, no,' replied the doctor, 'they had a quantity of portable 
soup with them, sufficient to feed the whole army for four days.' 
' Ay,' rejoined I, ' but had they portable water ? For their 
portable soup would have been of little use if they had not 
water to dissolve it in.' My father looked at the attendants 
with an air of hope. Doctor Moriarty said to my mother, 'His 
intellect, at any rate, is untouched.' " 

This illness occurred in August, 1798, and 
immediately after his recovery he went on circuit. 
Of this event he has also left a record, or rather the 

Leavhuj Hume. 


record as given by himself has been preserved by his 
faithful friend Mr. Daunt. 

Travelling then in Kerry, 1 or indeed in any part 
of the world, was by no means the easy and rapid 
affair it is now. O'Connell left home at four o'clock 
in the morning on horseback, accompanied by his 
brother John, who was bound for the more congenial 
occupation of hunting. O'Connell was passionately 
fond of sport, and tenderly attached to his whole 
family, so that the parting had a double pang. We 
give the remainder of the narrative in O'Connell's 
own words : 

" I looked after him, from time to time, until he was out 
of sight, and then I cheered up my spirits as well as I could ; 
I had left home at such an early hour, that I was in Tralee at 
half-past twelve. I got my horse fed, and, thinking it was as 

1 Until the year 1825, when the Limerick mail-coach was estab- 
lished, post-chaises, sometimes of the rudest construction, were the 
only means of conveyance. Two well-known Tralee characters, 
Davy Dog and Jack Hackney, kept these coaches, and with rope 
shrouds rigged under the bodies of them to assist or preserve the 
springs. They took six or seven hours going from Tralee to Lis- 
towel — a distance of eighteen miles — stopped there that night, the 
next day journeying as far as Newbridge, where another night was 
spent, and the third day they reached Limerick. The journey be- 
tween Tralee and Limerick is performed at present by rail in about 
five hours. 

The first four-horse mail was driven into Kerry from Cork on the 
11th of August, 1810, by old Mich Daly, a famous Jehu, whose 
chirrup was the delight of his horses, and who made the noble and 
creditable boast that " a ha'porth of whipcord" would last a twelve- 
month. He had a theory, rather old-fashioned, we must fear, that 
M beating horses was not driving them." He proved his theory by 

200 " You'll do, Young Gentleman, 

well to push on, I remounted him, and took the road to Tarbert 
by Listowel. A few miles further on, a shower of rain drove 
me under a bridge for shelter. While I stayed there, the rain 
sent Robert Hickson also under the bridge. He saluted me, 
and asked me where I was going ? I answered, ' To Tarbert.' 
' Why so late ?' said Hickson. ' 1 am not late,' said I. ' I 
have been up since four o'clock this morning.' ' Why where 
have you come from ?' ' From Carhen.' Hickson looked 
astonished, for the distance was near fifty Irish miles. But 
he expressed his warm approval of my activity. ' You'll do, 
young gentleman,' said he ; \ I see you'll do.' I then rode on, 
and got to Tarbert about five in the afternoon — full sixty miles 

practice, and we sincerely wish we had a few more imitators. But 
good driving requires some intellectual effort ; and brute force, which 
the prosecutions of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to 
Animals shows to be very much in vogue at the other side of the 
Channel, is within the reach of every man, however degraded, who 
has a strong arm. 

The judges in the eighteenth century at least, travelled direct 
from Limerick to Tralee, and were particular about the state of the 
roads, for they fined the county Kerry one hundred pounds for not 
keeping the " great circuit road " in proper repair. 

The first hotel of any importance in Tralee was set up by Dick 
Thornton, and was styled the Denny Arms. Dick, as usual in such 
cases, was a retired servant. He had been coachman to Sir Barry 
Denny, but having become incapacitated for that position by a fall 
from his seat of authority, the coach-box — he was set up as hotel- 
keeper, and provided with a wooden leg. 

The Blennerhassets, too, had their hotel, conducted by Sam 
Benner, who was also a post-master, and is said to have advanced 
the art of locomotion by his strenuous efforts to keep up and im- 
prove his business. Paddy Devine represented the Crosbie interest. 
His hotel, as in duty bound, was called the Crosbie Arms. He is 
reported to have been an extensive farmer, and, moreover, kept 

O'ConneWs Forte. 


Irish from Carhen. There wasn't one hook to he had at the 
inn. I had no acquaintance in the town ; and I felt my spirits 
low enough at the prospect of a long, stupid evening. But I 
was relieved by the sudden appearance of Ralph Marshall, an 
old friend of mine, who came to the inn to dress for a hall that 
took place in Tarbert that night. He asked me to accompany 
him to the ball. 1 Why, 1 said I, ' 1 have ridden sixty miles.' 
1 Oh, you don't seem in the least tired,' said he, 1 so come 
along.' Accordingly I went, and remained up until two o'clock 
in the morning, dancing." 

A few hours' sleep was sufficient to refresh the 
hardy youth, and he rode off to the Limerick assizes 
to make his first public appearance as a barrister. 
How little he could have anticipated, as he rode 
quietly and unnoticed into the grand old city of the 
Violated Treaty, 1 and glanced at the stone which 
commemorates Irish bravery and English bad faith, 
how triumphantly he should one day be received 
there himself ! 

He at once distinguished himself as a cross- 
examiner, which was undoubtedly his great forte at 
the bar. This department of the legal profession re- 
quires a tact and talent peculiar to itself, and which 
is often wanting in those who were gifted in other 
ways with the highest forensic ability. Woe to the 
unhappy man who gets into the witness box with a 
secret ; he might make a thousand resolutions to 
keep it to himself, he might succeed with some cross- 

1 The particulars of the Violated Treaty are too well-known to 
need more than a passing allusion. It is certainly one of the worst 
breaches of faith on record. 


Examining a Witness. 

examiners but certainly not when O'Connell was 

He laughed, he cajoled, he rarely threatened, he 
began a cheerful conversation in most confidential 
terms. The half-pleased, half-bewildered witness 
"did not know where he was." This agreeable 
gentleman surely could have no , ulterior designs in 
all this. Precisely when the unhappy man was 
thoroughly off his guard, out came the question. It 
was generally answered with a second's hesitation, 
and O'Connell sat down triumphant. 

He had a singular facility, a gift which cannot be 
acquired by any amount of practice, of seizing the 
salient points of a subject at one glance. He not 
only asked well, but he knew exactly what to ask. 
In ten # minutes he would extract as much informa- 
tion from a witness, as a more practised but less 
gifted barrister would attain in half an hour. 

At the Tralee assizes he held a brief from Jerry 
Keller, a noted attorney. O'Connell had to examine 
a witness about whose sobriety there was some 
question. The witness would not convict himself. 
He declared he had his " share of a pint of whiskey." 
His sobriety depended on the amount of the " share." 
O'Connell asked him by virtue of his oath, was not 
Ids share all but the pewter ; and amid a roar of 
laughter the unhappy victim of forensic dexterity 
was obliged to admit that it was. O'Connell, in 
relating the story afterwards, said, " The oddity of 
my mode of putting the question was very successful, 

"A Clever Rogue." 


and created a general and hearty laugh. Jerry 
Keller repeated the encouragement Robert Hickson 
had already bestowed upon my activity, in the very 
same words, 1 You'll efo, young gentleman ! you'll 

Mr, Hickson's history was a curious exemplifica- 
tion of the state of the times. He turned Protestant 
to save his property, and was twice High Sheriff of 
Kerry. When the penal code was relaxed, he went 
back to his old faith to save his conscience, having, 
however, first made very sure that this proceeding 
would not injure his temporal prosperity. 

O'Connell used to tell some capital bar stories. 

" The cleverest rogue in the profession that ever I heard 
of," he said, on one occasion, " was one Checkley, familiarlv 
known by tfce name of ' Checkley-be-d — d.' Checkley was 
agent once at the Cork assizes for a fellow accused of burglary 
and aggravated assault committed at Bantry. The noted Jerry 
Keller was counsel for the prisoner, against whom the charge 
was made out by the clearest circumstantial evidence ; so 
clearly, that it seemed quite impossible to doubt his guilt. 
When the case for the prosecution closed, the judge asked if 
there were any witnesses for the defence. ' Yes, my lord,' 
said Jerry Keller, ' I have three briefed to me.' £ Call them,' 
said the judge. Checkley immediately bustled out of court, 
and returned, at once, leading in a very respectable-looking, 
farmer-like man, with a blue coat and gilt buttons, scratch wig, 
corduroy tights, and gaiters. ' This is a witness to character, 
my lord,' said Checkley. Jerry Keller (the counsel) forthwith 
began to examine the witness. After asking him his name 
and residence. ' You know the prisoner in the dock ?' said 
Keller. 1 Yes, your honour, ever since he was a gorsoon !* 


Proving an Alibi 

i And what is his general character ?' said Keller. ' Ogh, the 
devil a worse !' 'Why, what sort of a witness is this you've 
brought ?' cried Keller, passionately, flinging down his brief, 
and looking furiously at Checkley ; ' he has ruined us !' ' He 
may prove an alibi, however,' returned Checkley ; i examine 
him to alibi as instructed in your brief.' Keller accordingly 
resumed his examination. ' Where was the prisoner on the 
10th instant ?' said he. ' He was near Castlemartyr,' answered 
the witness. ' Are you sure of that ?' i Quite sure, counsellor V 
' How do you know with such certainty ?' ' Because upon 
that very night I was returning from the fair, and when I got 
near my own house, I saw the prisoner a little way on before 
me — I'd swear to him anywhere. He was dodging about, and 
I knew it could be for no good end. So I slipped into the 
field and turned off my horse to grass ; and while I was 
watching the lad from behind the ditch, I saw him pop across 
the wall into my garden and steal a lot of parsnips and carrots ; 
and, what I thought a great dale worse of, he stole a bran-new 
English spade I had got from my landlord, Lord Shannon. 
So, faix ! I cut away after him, but as I was tired from the 
day's labour, and he being fresh and nimble, I wasn't able to 
ketch him. But next day my spade was seen surely in his 
house, and that's the same rogue in the dock ! I wish I had 
a hoult of him.' ' It is quite evident,' said the judge, that we 
must acquit the prisoner ; the witness has clearly established 
an alibi for him ; Castlemartyr is nearly sixty miles from 
Bantry; and he certainly is anything but a partisan of his. 
Pray, friend,' addressing the witness, 'will you swear informa- 
tions against the prisoner for his robbery of your property?' 
' Troth I will, my lord ! with all the pleasure in life, if your 
lordship thinks I can get any satisfaction out of him. I'm 
tould I can for the spade, but not for the carrots and parsnips.' 
' Go to the Crown Office and swear informations,' said the 

• ; Take away thit OwL" 


u The prisoner was of course discharged, the alibi having 
clearly been established ; in an hour's time some inquiry was 
made as to whether Checkley's rural witness had sworn informa- 
tions in the Crown Office. That gentleman was not to be 
heard of ; the prisoner also had vanished immediately on being 
discharged— and of course resumed his mal-practices forthwith. 
It needs hardly be told, that Lord Shannon's soi-disant tenant 
dealt a little in fiction, and that the whole story of his farm 
from that nobleman, and of the prisoner's thefts of the spade 
and the vegetables, was a pleasant device of Mr. Checkley's. 
I told this story," continued O'Connell, "to a coterie of 
English barristers with whom I dined ; and it was most 
diverting to witness their astonishment at Mr. Checkley's un- 
principled ingenuity. Stephen Rice, the assistant barrister, 
had so high an admiration of this clever rogue, that he declared 
lie would readily walk fifty miles to see Checkley !" 

The Tralee court-house was the scene of some 
curious episodes. One of these was thus related by 
O'Connell : 

" O'Grady was on one occasion annoyed at the disorderly 
noise in the court-house at Tralee. He bore it quietly for 
some time, expecting that Denny (the High Sheriff) would 
interfere to restore order. Findiug, however, that Denny, who 
was reading in his box, took no notice of the riot, O'Grady 
rose from the bench, and called out to the studious High Sheriff, 
' Mr. Denny, I just got up to hint that I'm afraid the noise in 
the court will prevent you from reading your novel in quiet.* 

" After O'Grady had retired from the bench, some person 
placed a large stuffed owl on the sofa beside him. The bird 
# was of enormous size, and had been brought as a great curiosity 
from the tropics. O'Grady looked at the owl for a moment, and 
then said with a jesture of peevish impatience, ' Take away 
that owl ! take away that owl ! If you don't, I shall fancy I 

206 Tried for Melodious Practices. 

am seated again on the Exchequer Bench beside Baron 
Foster !' Those who have seen Baron Foster on the bench, can 
best appreciate the felicitous resemblance traced by his venerable 
brother judge between his lordship and an old stuffed owl.' 

' 'Judge 0' Grady was by no means deficient in wit. Mr. 
Purcell 0' Gorman, previously to emancipation, was one of the 
most violent out-and-out partisans of the Catholic party. He 
often declared that I did not go far enough. We were once 
standing together in the inn at Ennis, and I took up a prayer 
book which lay in the window, and said, kissing it, 1 By virtue 
of this book, I will not take place or office from the Govern- 
ment until Emancipation is carried. Now, Purcell, my man ! 
will you do as much ?' Purcell 0' Gorman put the book to his 
lips, but immediately put it away, saying, ' I won't swear; I 
needn't ! my word is as good as my oath — I am sure of my 
own fidelity !' When Chief Baron 0' Grady heard this story, 
he remarked, ' They were both quite right. Government has 
nothing worth O'Connell's while to take until Emancipation 
be carried ; but anything at all would 'be good enough for 
Purcell O'Gorman.' " 

Some waggish barrister having accused Nicholas 
Purcell O'Gorman of being a musician, the charge 
was stoutly denied by the accused person. 

" A jury," said O'Connell, " was thereupon impannelled to 
try the defendant, who persisted in pleading ' Not guilty' to 
the indictment for melodious practices. The jury consisted of 
Con Lyne, under twelve different aliases — such as ' Con of the 
Seven Bottles/ ' Con of the Seven Throttles,' ' Crim-Con,' and 
so forth. The prosecutor then proceeded to interrogate the 
defendant : ' By virtue of your oath, Mr. O'Gorman, did you^ 
never play on any musical instrument ?' ' Never, on my 
honour !' replied Purcell. ' Come, sir, recollect yourself. By 
virtue of your oath, did you never play second fiddle to 

Lesson in Cow-stealing Gratis. 


O'Connell ?' The fact was too notorious to admit of any 
tlefeuce, and the unanimous jury accordingly returned a verdict 
of guilty." 

O'Connell once received a singular compliment 
from one of his clients whom he had unsuccessfully 
defended for cow-stealing : 

11 1 was once," said he, "counsel for a cow- stealer, who was 
clearly convicted — the sentence was transportation for fourteen 
years. At the end of that time he returned, and happening to 
meet me, he began to talk about the trial. I asked him how 
he had always managed to steal the fat cows; to which he 
gravely answered : £< Why, then, I'll tell your honour the whole 
secret of that, sir. Whenever your honour goes to steal a coir, 
always go on the worst night you can, for if the weather is 
very bad, the chances are that nobody will be up to see your 
honour. The way you'll always know the fat cattle in the 
dark is by this token —that the fat cows always stand out in 
the more exposed places, but the lean ones always go into the 
ditch for shelter.' So," continued O'Connell, "I got that 
lesson in cow-stealing gratis froin my worthy client." 

O'Connell visited Limerick, Cork, and Tralee in 
this circuit. He then posted to Dublin with Harry 
Deane Grady. The journey was long and dangerous. 1 

1 O'Connell often contrasted the rapid mode of modern travel- 
ling with the slower movements of past days. " I remember," said 
he, "when I left Darrynane for London in 1795, my first day's 
journey was to Carhen — my second to Killorglin — my third to 
Tralee — my fourth to Limerick — two days thence to Dublin. I 
sailed from Dublin in the evening— my passage to Holyhead was 
performed in twenty- four hours ; from Holyhead to Chester, took 
six-and-thirty horns ; from Chester to London, three days. My 
uncle kept a diary of a tour he made in England between the years 
70 and '80, and' one of his memorabilia was 1 This day we have 


Jack of the Roads. 

The rebellion had been crushed by brute force, but 
the fire was still smouldering, and bands of hunted 
men, who were unable to work because there was 
no work for them to do, and who could at best sell 
their lives dearly, haunted the mountains in different 
parts of Ireland. Every man's hand was against 
them, and their hand was against every man. 

A party had taken up their abode in the Kilworth 
mountains through which O'Connell and his com- 
panion were obliged to pass. In the evening, while 
resting at the Fermoy inn, four dragoons came in, 
one of whom was a corporal. O'Connell and his 
companion were anxious to provide themselves with 

travelled thirty-six miles, and passed through part of five counties.' 
In 1780, the two members for the county of Kerry sent to Dublin 
for a noddy, and travelled together in it from Kerry to Dublin. The 
journey occupied seventeen days ; and each night the two members 
quartered themselves at the house of some friend ; and on the seven- 
teenth day they reached Dublin, just in time for the commencement 
of the session. I remember in 1817 dodging for eight hours about 
Caernarvon Harbour before we could land. When on shore, I pro- 
ceeded to Capelcarrig, . where I was taken very ill ; and I was not 
consoled by reflecting that should my illness threaten life, there was 
no Catholic priest within forty miles of me." Among other illustra- 
tions of the state of things in the good old days of Tory rule, ho 
recorded the fate of a poor half-witted creature called " Jack of the 
roads," who, in the earlier part of the century, used to run along- 
side the Limerick coaches : "He once made a bet of fourpence and 
a pot of porter that he would run to Dublin from Limerick, keeping 
pace with the mail. He did so, and when he was passing through 
Mountrath on his return, on the 12th of July, 1807 or 1808, he 
flourished a green bough at a party of Orangemen who were holding 
their orgies. One of them fired at his face ; his eyes were de- 
stroyed — he lingered and died — and there was an end of Poor 

A Man to Succeed. 


ammunition, but this was by no means easy to ob- 
tain. Mr. Grady opened negotiations with the cor- 
poral : 

" Soldier, will you sell me some powder and ball ?" 

u . Sir, I don't sell powder,'' replied the corporal, who in his 
own opinion was no soldier. 

" Will you then have the goodness to buy me some ?" said 
Grady; "in these unsettled times the dealers in the article 
are reluctant to sell it to strangers like us." 

" Sir," replied the corporal, u I am no man's messenger 
but the king's — go yourself." 

" Grady," said O'Connell in a low tone, " you have made 
a great mistake. Did you not see by the mark on his sleeve 
that the man is a corporal ? You mortified his pride in calling 
him a soldier, especially before his own men, amongst whom 
he doubtless plays the officer." 

Having suffered a few minutes to elapse, O'Connell entered 
into conversation with the dragoon : 

" Did you ever see such rain as we had to-day, sergeant ? 
I was very glad to find that the regulars had not the trouble of 
escorting the judges. It was very suitable work for those 
awkward yeomen." 

u Yes, indeed, sir," returned the corporal, evidently 
flattered at being mistaken for a sergeant, 1 ' we were very 
lucky in escaping those torrents of rain." 

" Perhaps, sergeant, you will have the kindness," continued 
O'Connell, " to buy me some powder and ball in town. We 
are to pass the Kilworth mountains, and shall want ammuni- 
tion. You can, of course, find no difficulty in buying it ; but 
it is not to every one they sell these matters." 

Sir," said the corporal, "I shall have great pleasure in 
requesting your acceptance of a small supply of powder and 
ball. My balls will, I think, just fit your pistols. You'll 



A Losing Game to Play. 

stand in need of ammunition, for there are some of those out- 
lying rebelly rascals on the mountains." 

" Dan/' said Grady, in a low tone, "you'll go through the 
world successfully ; that I can easily foresee." 1 

And Dan did go through the world successfully. 

O'Connell's first speech was made in opposition 
to the Union. Fortunately a copy of this most im- 
portant document has been preserved. It was the 
key-note to O'Connell's political life, and from this 
first declaration of his principles he never departed 
or swerved for a second. His family were against 
him, and especially his uncle Maurice, to whom he 
owed his education. Political life was a dangerous 
game, and a losing one, and old "Hunting-cap," 
though he lived all his life in the wilds of Kerry, 
knew quite enough of public affairs to make him 

1 The last remaining robber was shot about the year 1810, by 
the postmaster of Fermoy. Several persons had been robbed a short 
time previously ; whereupon the postmaster and another inhabitant 
of Fermoy hired a chaise and drove to the mountains of Kilworth. 
The robber spied the chaise, came to rob, upon which the post- 
master shot him dead. 

'•'There was," said O'Connell, "a narrow causeway thrown 
across a glen, which formed a peculiarly dangerous part of the old 
road ; it was undefended by guard- walls, and too narrow for two 
carriages to pass abreast. The post-boys used to call it ' the de- 
licate bit and a ticklish spot it surely was on a dark night, 
approached at one end from a steep declivity. 

O'Connell used to tell a good story of his friend Harry Grady : 
" I remember a good specimen of his skill in cross-examination at 
an assizes at Tralee, where he defended some still-owners who had 
recently had a scuffle with five soldiers. The soldiers were witnesses 
against the still-owners. Harry Grady cross-examined each soldier 

Want of Unity. 


anxious to keep Darrynane in the family, and to 
keep young Dan's head on his shoulders. But young- 
Dan was thoroughly capable of taking care of himself, 
and he continued to steer through the difficult period 
of the Union without any personal inconvenience. 

The Union was formally brought before the 
English Houses of Parliament by message a from the 
Crown on the 22nd of January, 1799, but Mr. Pitt 
had laid his plans for it as far back as 1784. when he 
came into office. He set himself to work with that 
steady determination which is the best promise of suc- 
cess, and with that unscrupulous disregard of justice 
which generally serves for a time. The difficulties 
lie met with, and probably the steady opposition of 
his powerful rival, Fox. were a further incentive. 

Fox had very clear ideas of Irish policy for an 
English statesman. He saw that the divisions of the 

ill the following manner out of hearing of bis brethren, who were 
kept out of court : " Well, soldier, it was a murderous scuffle, wasn't 
it I ' — 1 Yes.' — ' But you weren't afraid '? ' — 1 No.' — 1 Of course you 
weren't. It is part of your sworn duty to die in the king's service 
if needs must. But, if you were not afraid, maybe others were not 
quite so brave ? Were any of your comrades frightened ? Tell the* 
truth now.' — 1 Why, indeed, sir, I can't say but they were.' — 1 Ah, I 
thought so. Come, now, name the men who were frightened — on 
your oath, now.' 

" The soldier then named every one of his four comrades. Ho 
was then sent down, and another soldier called upon the table, to 
whom Grady addressed precisely the same set of queries, receiving 
precisely the same answers ; until at last he got each of the five 
soldiers to swear, that he alone had fought the still-owners bravely, 
and that all his four comrades were cowards. Thus Harry succeeded 
in utterly discrediting the soldiers' evidence against his clients." 


Nominally Free and Independent. 

Irish themselves — those divisions with which they 
have been so frequently taunted, and which are so 
little understood — were the principal cause of the 
misfortunes of this unhappy country. He could not 
understand why Irish politicians would not work 
together, 1 and forget that English politicians were 
equally, though not so disastrously divided. He did 
not understand, what we fear has never yet been 
thoroughly understood — the state of government in 
Ireland, and w r hy Irishmen were disunited, or only 
united in parties to oppose each other. 

The only attempt at a Republican government in 
Ireland had been the Parliament of Kilkenny, held 
by the Confederates in 1645. It was certainly some 
sort of satisfaction to the nation at large to feel that 
they had any kind of national representation ; the 
meeting of a parliament in Dublin gave a certain 
appearance of status to the country, but it was only 
an appearance. The members of both Houses were, 
with a very few exceptions, members of the English 
Government ; the nation was not represented. Ireland 

" February 8th, 1799. 
1 "If the Irish would stick to one another, they might play a 
game that would have more chance of doing good than any that has 
been in question for a long time. They might win the battle that 
we lost in 1784, and which after all is the pivot upon which every- 
thing turns. They ought to be very careful to confine themselves, 
however, to Irish ministers, and great officers in Ireland, and they 
would be in no danger (unless I am very much deceived indeed) 
of being deserted by the people, as we were." — Fox's Letters, vol. iv. 
p. 157. 

The National Representation. 

was a Catholic nation, yet not one single Catholic 
could raise his voice in that assembly. Irishmen 
were allowed to vote, and after a time Catholics 
were allowed to vote nominally ; but the vote was 
only nominal — it was little more than a badge of 
slavery ; for woe to the freeholder who dared to 
have an opinion of his own ! woe to the u inde- 
pendent elector'' who availed himself of his supposed 

The majority, the vast majority, of those who sat 
in the Irish House of Lords, and the Irish House of 
Commons, were men who had no Irish interests 
whatever ; who, far from having such interests, 
actually hated and scorned the men whom they were 
supposed to represent. They had one god, and they 
worshipped him with unfailing devotion — for him 
they were ready to sacrifice honour, principle, and 
self-respect ; for him they were willing to imbrue 
their hands in the very life-blood of the unhappy 
men whose interests they were supposed to re- 
present. 1 

1 Fox wrote to Lord Holland on the 19th of January, 1799 : 
M I own I think, according to the plan with which you have set 
out, that you ought to attend the Union ; nor do I feel much any of 
your objections, I mean to attendance, for in all those to the Union 
I agree with you entirely. If it were only for the state of represen- 
tation in their House of Commons, I should object to it ; but when 
you add the state of the country, it is the most monstrous proposi- 
tion that ever was made. What has given rise to the report of my 
being for it I cannot guess, as exclusive of temporary objections I 
never had the least liking to the measure, though I confess I have 


Cost of a State Policy. 

Pitt knew perfectly well the difficulties he would 
have to meet in effecting his purpose. He had four 
classes to deal with, and he dealt with them one by 
one with a masterly ability worthy of a better 

He had to deal with the people of Ireland, with 
those units who are considered so insignificant when 
counted by ones- — who are so terribly formidable 
when you come to add the ones, and discover that 
they amount to millions. A multitude is terribly 
formidable even without leaders, even when they are 
held in chains. The English minister knew this, and 
crushed the multitude. If it did cost some millions 
of money, what matter ! his was an extravagant ad- 
ministration, and he hoped to revenge himself after 
the Union. As to the lives, the agony, the legacy of 
hatred, all that " went without saying." Perhaps he 
deplored the blood and crime a little, not having the 
brutal nature of Cromwell, who delighted in it, but 
he consoled himself with the reflection that state 
policy requires sacrifice. . 

less attended to the arguments pro and con than perhaps I otherwise 
should have done, from a full conviction that it was completely im- 
possible. You know, I dare say, that my general principle in 
politics is very much against the one and indivisible, and if I were to 
allow myself a leaning to any extreme it would be to that of Federal- 
ism. Pray, therefore, whenever you hear my opinion mentioned, 
declare for me my decided disapprobation ; not that I would have 
my wish to have this known a reason for your attendance, however, 
if otherwise you wish to stay away." — Fox's Correspondence, vol. iv. 
p. 150. 

Ireland Q Dependency. 


The benefit of England was the one grand object. 1 
1 1 was right, it was more than justifiable that English- 
men should seek the advancement of their own 
nation above all things, but they were equally bound 
in common honesty either to treat Irish interests as 
synonymous with their own, or to leave Ireland 

I This was do secret. In 1699, Sir Richard Cox wrote a work, 
entitled " The English Interest in Ireland," proposing a Union in 
the following words : 

II It is your interest to unite and incorporate us with England ; 
far b that means the English interest will always be prevalent here, 
and the kingdom as secure to you as Wales, or any county in Eng- 
land, four team will be lessened when we bear part of the burden. 

. . All our money will still centre at London ; and our trade 
and communication with England will be so considerable, that we 
shall think ourselves at home when there ; and where one goes 
thither now, then ten wid go when all our business is transacted in 
your Parliament, to which, if we send sixty-four knights for our 
thirty-two counties, ten lords, and six bishops, they may spend our 
money, hut cannot influence your councils to your disadvantage. . . . 
By the Union, Engl Did will get much of our money, and abundance 
of our trade." 

This man was a specimen of the class of men who carried the 
Union or who represented Ireland. Though Irish by birth, his in- 
terests were wholly English. 

In 1751, Sir Matthew Dicker wrote "Essays on Trade," in 
which he said : 

M By a Union with Ireland the taxes of Great Britain will be les- 
sened." In 1767, Postlethwayte wrote a work, entitled ''Britain's 
Commercial Interest," in which he said : "By the Union, Ireland 
would soon be enabled to pay a million a-year towards the taxes of 
Great Britain ; the riches of Ireland would chiefly return to Eng- 
land, she containing the seat of empire ; the Irish lairds would be 
little better than tenants to her, for allowing them the privilege of 
making the best of their relations," — p. 203. 


Fox on the Union. 

perfectly free to look after her own interests. It 
was not just to treat her as a dependency, or rather 
as a country which was to be used solely for the 
interests of those who had made themselves her 
masters by force of arms. 

Fox was probably the only English statesman of 
his time who had thoroughly clear ideas as to the 
duty and the good policy of making English and 
Irish interests coincide. He held and expressed 
strong views as to the power of the people, and was 
decidedly of opinion that Parliament could not make 
a Union between the two countries either with legal 
or moral right, unless Parliament had the sanction of 
the people. 

" Supposing the Stamp act were beneficial to 
America, Parliament was not competent in any sense 
of the word to enact it. Supposing a Union would 
be beneficial to Ireland, Parliament again is not com- 
petent to enact it, because it is not within its com- 
mission to destroy the constitution which it is 
instituted to support, even though it should place a 
better in its stead ; and here comes in with propriety 
what Locke says- — that Parliament is to make laws 
and not legislatures. I cannot think, for instance, that 
Parliament is competent to declare Great Britain an 
absolute monarchy, or a republic, though it should 
be of opinion that the change would be for the 
better. For such revolutions there must be a known 
opinion of the people, and though such opinion be 
difficult to collect legally, yet for practical purposes 

Landlord and Tenant. 


it may be collected in a practical way, as I contend 
that it was, or at least that it was pretended to be, in 
1688 and 1706. It is said that this reasoning goes 
to say, that Parliament, which is instituted to improve, 
cannot be competent to impair the Constitution ; the 
answer is, that whether a projected alteration be an 
improvement or an injury, is a question upon which 
Parliament is commissioned to judge, but annihilation 
(which Union must be allowed to be) is not within 
their commission. That it is annihilation, I, of course, 
suppose proved, before I deny the competence." 

We have seen how Mr. Pitt dealt with the people. 
His mode of dealing with the upper classes was far 
more simple and effective. They wanted money, 
and lie flung it about with reckless prodigality. The 
sale of boroughs was always a profitable source of 
income to Anglo-Irish noblemen. They were a 
needy race, and bv no means satisfied with their 
poverty. In their folly and infatuation they en- 
couraged the rebellion, forgetting that they were but 
impoverishing themselves. They soon learned their 
fatal mistake, but they had not the wisdom to discern 
the remedy. 

It was always hard for the Irish tenant to pay his 
rent, because he was not allowed a straw for his 
bricks, though the bricks were required all the same ; 
but after the rebellion there was a deficiency of 
tenants, and no amount of torture could wring money 
from the hapless few who remained to till the im- 
poverished soil. The circulation of the Bank of 


Bribery and Incapability. 

Ireland also was discredited, and, of course, the poor 
were the sufferers. The tenants were obliged to pay 
in gold when they could be made pay at all, but the 
scarcity was so great, that the tradesmen were paid 
in paper money, thus throwing the burden still on 
the people. 1 

The bribery system was not made any secret. 
Gentlemen knew their worth, and were by no means 
modest in proclaiming it. If they were to sell 

1 On the 8th June, 1799, Lord Devonshire wrote to Lord Castle- 
reagh: " Whilst I have the pen in my hand, I beg leave to trespass 
upon your Lordship a little longer, to state a great grievance that 
this part of the world labours under, which, if possible, ought to be 
stopped — that is, the sale of the gold coin. When Government 
thought fit, two or three years ago, to encourage the circulation of 
bank paper, that traffic began. I gave all the assistance I could to 
Government in their object, and took bank paper in my office for 
rent, which I still continue to do, which, I believe, none of my 
neighbours do. I understand Lord Hertford, Lord Donegal, Lord 
Londonderry, &c, never have and do not take any paper for their 
rents ; but now I cannot pay a bill to any tradesman in Belfast or 
the country in bank notes, without allowing from threepence to 
eightpence in every guinea. I understand it is the same in the 
pay of the army. The conduct of the bank of Ireland is so illiberal, 
if not illegal, and, besides, take so little pains to stop forgeries upon 
them, that I shall no longer take their paper as rent in my office. 
There is scarce a remittance made to Dublin but two or three notes 
are returned as forged. They have left off defacing the note, indeed, 
as they used to do, by which a poor honest man lost eight five- 
pound notes that my agent recovered for him ; but he had not taken 
the same precaution my agent did, as the notes were so defaced by 
an oiled red stamp that he could not swear to the paper, and those 
that he thought had paid them to him denied that these notes were 
those they paid him. I have ordered no notes to be taken, till some 
means are devised to prevent the gross imposition of paying for gold." 

Picture of the State of Ireland. 


honour and conscience, at least they meant to have 
the full value of both. 

Lord Cornwallis wrote to Major-General Ross on 
23rd November 1798, and gave some charmingly 
naive descriptions of how affairs were being managed. 
He was obliged to talk a great deal, and found it a 
bore. He thought the Catholics might as well have 
got the benefit of what was going, they at the very 
time, being kept under the delusion that they were 
to be included. He declared the Lords-Lieutenant 
had been idle and incapable, yet Irishmen were 
wildly blamed if they were not loyal to them ; and 
lie declared the whole manner of governing Ireland 
was founded on the " grossest corruption." 

On the 27th of April 1799 Lord Cornwallis 
wrote to the Bishop of Lichfield, giving a wretched 
picture of the state of Ireland : 

" This wretched country remains much in the same state, 
the seeds of disaffection, of hatred of England, and in particular 
(and, I am sorry to say, in general with more reason) of their 
own landlords, are as deeply rooted as ever, and frequently 
hreak out in various shapes, such as the murder of magistrates, 
or the houghing of cattle : our politicians of the old leaven are 
as much occupied with their dirty jobs as ever. Those who 
think at all of the great question of the Union, confine their 
speculation to the simple question of its either promoting or 
counteracting their own private views, and the great mass of 
the people neither think or care about the matter. Under 
these circumstances, you will easily conceive how unpleasant 
my situation must be, and how little I can flatter myself with 
the hopes of obtaining any credit for myself, or of rendering 

220 Borough -Mongering and Cajoling. 

any essential service to my country. Sincerely do I repent 
that I did not return to Bengal." 1 

The interested parties were soon satisfied. A 
sum of £1,260,000 was expended in buying up the 
boroughs, and with the addition of a few peerages 
and pensions, the work was done. Lord Devonshire 
got £52,500, and Lord Ely £45,000. Three or 
four powerful families had the representation of 
Ireland completely in their power, either by the 
possession of large property, or by intermarriages. 
The Ponsonbys had no less than twenty-two seats 
under their complete control. The Devonshire and 
Beresford families had almost the same number. 
Lord Longueville ruled Cork and Mallow with six 
other places. 

The principal difficulty was with the Catholic 
clergy, who could not be bribed, but whom it was 

1 Cornwallis' Correspondence, vol. iii. p. 93. 

" My time has lately been much taken up with seeing, and 
breaking to the principle persons here, the projected Union, and 
when you send for a man on such business, he must stay with you 
and talk to you as long as he likes. I have no great doubts of being 
able to carry the measure here, but I have great apprehensions of 
the inefficacy of it after it is carried, and I do not think it would 
have been much more difficult to have included the Catholics. 

" Those who are called principle persons here, are men who 
have been raised into consequence, only by having the entire dis- 
posal of the patronage of the Crown in return for their undertaking 
the management of the country, because the Lords-Lieutenant 
were too idle or too incapable to manage it themselves. They are 
detested by everybody but their immediate followers, and have no 
influence but what is founded on the grossest corruption." — Corn- 
wallis' Correspond en ce, vol. iii. p. 445. 

Earl Atiamoni and his Associates 


quite possible to deceive. The managers of the 
Union were not particular how the work was effected, 
with perhaps the exception of Lord Cornwallis, who 
had some idea of honour even w r here Papists were 
concerned. It is to be regretted that the Catholic 
Bishops, who worked for the Union, did not see 
some of the private correspondence in which they 
were mentioned, and did not hear some of the private 
conversations which have been recorded, and sent 
down to posterity. 

Sir J. Hippisley, who was specially employed to 
cajole the Catholics, wrote to Lord Castlereagh ! 

"The Speaker told ine, some time before, that Mr. Pitt 
had much approved the suggestions I had offered, with respect 
to the distinctions and checks on the Monastic Clergy. Your 
Lordship will permit me to quote a vulgar Italian proverb, 
which is this : 1 One must be aware of a bull be fore, of an ass 
at his lie els, and of a friar on all sides." Seven years' ex- 
perience on Catholic ground convinced me that this adage was 
well imagined." 

On the 5th of June, 1799, the Earl of Altamont 
wrote from Westpqrt House : " The priests have all 
appeared to sign, and though I am not proud of 
many of them as associates, I will take their 
signatures to prevent a possibility of a counter 
declaration." 1 

1 M If the Roman Catholics stand forward, it will be unwillingly ; 
they are keeping back decidedly, but many will be influenced, and 
some few who connected themselves with the Protestants during the 
disturbance will be zealously forward on the present occasion. The 
priests have all offered to sign ; and, though I am not proud of many 


The Clergy and the Union. 

On the 3rd of June, 1799, Lord Castlereagli 
wrote to the Duke of Portland that the rebellion 
" was managed by the inferior priests." There were 
certainly some of the Catholic Clergy who united 
with the rebels in self-defence, but a careful examina- 
tion of the correspondence of the times will show at 
once that they were few in number, and that the 
Government relied much on the co-operation of the 
priests, even at the very time that many of them were 
being treated with inhuman cruelty. 

On the 20th of July, 1799, Lord Cornwallis wrote 
to the Duke of Portland, that the " clergy of the 
Church, particularly the superior, countenance the 
measure," and that the linen merchants of the North 

of thern as associates, I will take their signatures, to prevent a pos- 
sibility of a counter- declaration. I hear the titular Archbishop has 
expressed himself inclined to the measure. This day, I have sent 
round to all the Catholics of property in the country : I may be 
mistaken, but, in my judgment, the wish of the most of them would 
be to stand neuter ; or, perhaps, if they had any countenance, to 
oppose it — that is the fact. Several will sign from influence, some 
from fear ; but the majority, I believe, will pretend that they have 
given opinions already, and can't decently retract them. You shall 
know exactly when I get to Dublin. Every man applied to, of all 
persuasions, wants to make it personal compliment." — Memoir of 
Viscount Castlereagli, vol. ii. p. 328. 

Mr. Cook wrote to Lord Castlereagli at the close of 1798 to in- 
form him of public opinion in Dublin : 

11 The Dublin argument is this : — Absenteeism will increase — ■ 
interest of the debt to England will increase — and we cannot bear 
the drain. Our manufactures will be ruined by putting an end 
to duties between the two countries. All the proprietors in Dublin 
must be injured. We shall be liable to British debts," &c. 

An Unconstitutional Practice. 


were much too busy with their trade to think much 
on the subject. 1 If the Catholic South had been 
allowed to trade as well as the Protestant North, and 
permitted the same liberty of conscience. England 
might have saved herself some millions of money. 

There was some difficulty in Tipperary. and Lord 
Castlereagh wrote to the Duke of Portland com- 
plaining that the county members had voted against 
the Government, which he declared to be " a very 
unconstitutional practice," and but too prevalent in 
Ireland. Thus, while the tenant was compelled to 
vote as his landlord pleased, his representative was 
to vote as the Government pleased. This, of course, 
was only in the Irish Parliament, where tenants and 

1 These letters are so important an illustration of the state of 
Ireland at this period that we give further extracts : 

<; Within these few days, the Catholics have shown a disposition 
to depart from their line of neutrality, and to support the measure 
Those of the city of Waterford have sent up a very strong declara- 
tion in favour of Union, at the same time expressing a hope that it 
will lead to the accomplishment of their emancipation, as they term 
it, but not looking to it as a preliminary. The Catholics of Kilkenny 
have agreed to a similar declaration ; and, as the clergy of that 
Church, particularly the superiors, countenance the measure, it is 
likely to extend itself. 

" In the North, the public opinion is much divided on the ques- 
tion. In Derry and Donegal, the gentry are in general well-disposed. 
The linen merchants are too busily employed in their trade to think 
much on the subject, or to take an active part on either side ; but I 
understand they are, on the whole, rather favourable, wishing to 
have their trade secured, which they do not feel, notwithstanding 
the Speaker's argument, to be independent of Great Britain.'' — . 
Memoirs of Viscount Castlereagh, vol. ii. p. 351. 


Mr. Lake Fox. 

members should alike be deeply grately for the 
privilege of being allowed to vote at all, and were 
bound, according to English views of Irish con- 
stitutional liberty, to vote as their masters ordered 
them. Certainly, under the circumstances, it ought 
not to have been so difficult to carry the Union. 
Neither would it have been difficult, had not a 
number of the members discovered that a good deal 
of capital could be made of their votes.' 7 1 

One of the most remarkable and able letters of 
the whole series was written by Mr. Luke Fox, after- 
wards a judge of Common Pleas, to Lord Castle- 
reagh. He grasped the whole subject with resolute 
precision. 2 The population of Ireland he estimated 

1 Lord de Clifford wrote an elaborate letter to Mr. Townsend, 
23rd July, 1799, in which he puts forward very strong objections to 
the Union, manifestly for the purpose of enhancing his price. With 
a candour almost too transparent for laughter, he concludes by say- 
ing that, if he believed the measure for the public good, he would 
sacrifice his boroughs ; but as he does not, he cannot be unmindful of 
his private interests. One can scarcely believe it possible that any 
educated man could coolly write his own shame so openly. 

2 The following extracts from his letter will prove that he did 
this : " With regard to the measure itself, supposing the nation, or 
even the Parliament, should be induced to adopt it, I much fear that 
the great number of absentees which would immediately follow its 
being carried into execution would be much more likely to occasion 
the rebellion's breaking out afresh, than it would tend to restoring 
peace and quietness^ even were the majority of the well-affected in 
favour of it. It is a well-known fact to those that are at all ac- 
quainted with the interior of Ireland, that a very great majority of 
the people look upon the proprietors of the land of the country as a 
set of usurpers, and have been ready (time immemorial) to rise and 

Letter of Mr. Lake Fox. 


at more than five millions five hundred thousand. 
Of these only 500,000 were Protestants. This 
population was again divided into three classes, who 
K composed three distinct nations, as different in 

wrest their property from them on the first opportunity. 1 ani per- 
fectly convinced that we owe the salvation of the country during the 
late rebellion (which, by the by, I fear is not suppressed, but barely 
smothered) more to the personal exertions of the country gentlemen 
in devoting their whole time, their lives, and their properties to 
keeping their tenantry and neighbours in order, than we do to the 
great military force that was brought into the kingdom. If, by 
forcing a Union upon this country, you disgust one-half of these 
gentlemen and convert the other half into absentees, you will leave 
the country a prey to the machinations of the disaffected ; and the 
consequence I fear would be fatal." 

He then alludes to the Scotch Union, and says Scotland would 
have improved just as fast if left independent : 

" The very reverse appears to me to be the best policy for Ire- 
land. The landed interest you have already attached to you, both 
from principle and interest. The great body of the people are 
against you, and I should therefore think that, instead of holding 
out inducements to them to leave it, you ought rather to give them 
every encouragement to reside upon their estates, and guard the 
mutual interests and connexion of the two kingdoms, where they 
have most power to do it with effect. 

" Lord Castlereagh informs me that 1 it is intended that the 
counties should return two members, as at present ; that the popu- 
lous cities and towns should return one member each, and the rest 
of the boroughs be classed as in Scotland, making a proportionate 
compensation to the proprietors.' Though I solemnly declare I 
would not hesitate a moment sacrificing my borough interest if I was 
convinced the measure was for the public good, I cannot be ex- 
pected (entertaining the doubts that I do respecting it), to be wholly 
unmindful of my private interests, and I should wish much to know 
in what light my boroughs would be looked upon according to this 



Letter of Mr. Luke Fox. 

character and principles and habits of life as the 

ci The object is to form them into one united people under 
the rule of the British constitution, and to unite, by sentiment 
and interest, that people to Great Britain. Our fleets may 
display their triumphant flags in every quarter of the globe ; 
our troops may conquer, but barren are their laurels and futile 
their triumphs, when compared to the advantages likely to 
result to Great Britain and Ireland from this measure in a 
military, commercial, and financial point of view. But, to 
proceed to delineate the mode—it is material to observe how 
these three distinct bodies, the Protestants, the Presbyterians, 
and the Catholics, stand affected to the question of Union. 

u The Protestants, composing about 50,000 souls, the 
descendants of English colonists, possess the whole power and 
patronage, and almost the whole landed property of the 

" They are, of course, political monopolists, and can only 
be gained by influence. 

" The Catholics, composing the mass *of the population, 
amounting at least to three millions— four would have been 
more correct — of souls, descendants of the original inhabitants, 
or of colonists who degenerated, and, in the language of the 
historian, not very classical but strong, became Hibernicis 
ipsis Hiberniores, are, for the most part, poor, uneducated, 
and ignorant, deriving weight almost solely from their numbers, 
adding to a natural vigour of body and astuteness of mind, 
capable, under a proper regimen, of being modelled to the most 
beneficial ends, both civil and military. They are at present 
in the lowest state of political depression, in a semi-barbarous 
state (as has been truly observed), and thereby eminently 
qualified to answer the continual drains on a great commercial 
empire to supply her fleets and armies in every accessible 
quarter of the globe. These are to be gained by concession. 

" The Protestants are, from every motive of a monopolising 
interest, determined opponents to the scheme of Union, by 

The Bar and the Union. 


which they must lose that monopoly of power and profit which 
it is not in human nature voluntarily to resign when once 
possessed. Does any man think that Mr. Foster and Mr. 
Ponsonhy are actuated by such motives ? Religion is a mere 
pretence — the true bone of contention is the monopoly of Irish 
power and patronage." 

Never was a truer word said. Not only did these 
monopolists sell "power and patronage," but they 
actually made every effort to depress Irish industry, 
because, if the Irish once began to be an independent 
nation, their gain was gone. 1 

Such was the state of public affairs when 
O'Connell made his first speech. The bar were 
nearly all against the Union, and even Mr. Saurin, 
who was the father of the bar, and a conscientious 
hater of Catholics, was warmly opposed to it. The 
bar held their first meeting on the 9th of Dee., 
1798. Mr. Saurin had been elected some years 
before to the command of the Lawyers' Volunteer 
Corps, and now issued the following order : 

" Lawyers' Infantry. — The corps is ordered to parade at 
twelve at noon at the new court in the new regimentals. A 
punctual attendance is requested, as business of the utmost im- 
portance is to be transacted. 

" (Signed) Stewart King, Adjutant." 

1 The Beresford family were amongst the most rapacious and 
unscrupulous of this class. Lord Auckland wrote to Mr. Beresford, 
that England " ought to check that system of liberality and foster- 
ing protection which tended to increase Irish capital and prosperity, 
and give extended means of mischief." So that all that has been 
done to ruin Ireland was not considered sufficient by those men who 
wished to build their fortunes on her misery. 


The majority of the bar, 1 however, suggested that a 
discussion in an armed assembly was unsuitable, and 
the result was a meeting of civilians. At this meeting 
Mr. Saurin moved : 

" That the measure of a legislative union of Great Britain, 
is an innovation which it would be highly dangerous and im- 
proper to propose at the present juncture of affairs in this 

Mr. Plunket said : 

" Should the administration propose that measure now, it 
will be carried. For animosity and want of time to consider 
coolly its consequences, and forty thousand British troops in 
Ireland, will carry the measure. But in a little time the 
people will awaken as from a dream, and what consequences 
will follow I tremble to think. For myself, I declare that I 
oppose a union principally because I am convinced that it will 
accelerate a total separation of the two countries." 

The determined conduct of the bar was certainly 
annoying to the Government, and on the 15th 
December Lord Cornwallis wrote to the Duke of 
Portland : 

[" Secret and confidential.] 

" Dublin Castle, Dec. Uth, 1798. 
" My Lokd, — Your Grace will probably have seen in the 
papers an account of the violence which disgraced the meeting 

1 Lord Cornwallis wrote to the Duke of Portland : " The bar 
have been most forward in their opposition, and have been this day 
assembled as a corps, it is understood, with an intention of taking 
up the question. Should that learned body be so intemperate as to 
set an example to the yeomanry at large, unconstitutional in the ex- 
treme, and dangerous to the public safety, I shall feel myself called 
on, in the outset, to meet this attempt to overawe the King's 
Government and the legislature with decision." — Cornwallis Coires- 
ponclence, vol. iii. p. 5. 

The Anti-Union, Xo. I. 


of the banisters, and of the miserable figure which the friends 
of the Union made on a division of 32 against 162. 

" The bankers and merchants are to meet on Tuesday next, 
and I do not expect a more favourable division on that occasion. 
In point of indecency of manners and language, they cannot 
surpass the gentlemen of the learned profession. 

u Our reports of the reception of the measure in the North 
are not favourable, especially about Belfast, and the principal 
Catholics about Dublin begin to hold a much less sanguine 
language about the probable conduct of their brethren, and are 
disposed to think that, in this part of the kingdom at least, 
the greater number of them will join in the opposition to the 

In a confidential and friendly letter to Major- 
General Ross, he said : 

" The opposition to the Union increases daily in and about 
Dublin, and I am afraid, from conversations which I have held 
with persons much connected with them, that I was too 
sanguine when I hoped for the good inclinations of the Catho- 
lics. Their disposition is so completely alienated from the 
British Government, that I believe they would even be tempted 
to join with their bitterest enemies the Protestants of Ireland, 
if they thought that measure would lead to a total separation of 
the two countries. My thoughts may be more gloomy, as a 
black north-east wind is blowing with great violence, and 
darkening the hemisphere ; but I think, from the folly, 
obstinacy, and gross corruption which pervade every corner of 
this island, that it is impossible that it can be saved from 
destruction. I tremble likewise for the spirit of enterprise 
which prevails on your side of the water, without troops, and in 
defiance of the seasons." 1 

1 The fact seems to be that the Government either deceived 
themselves or were thoroughly deceived about the Irish Catholics. 
The latter suggestion seems to be the more correct, though the 
deceit was the result of their opposition and not of guile. The 


O'Connell* s First Speech. 

On the 27tli December, 1798, the first number of 
the Anti-Union newspaper was published. Plunket, 
Grattan, and Burke were the chief contributors ; 
they were the men of the day. How little did any- 
one anticipate that the young barrister, whose maiden 
speech is recorded in one of its earliest numbers, 
would at a future time wield a power and possess 
an influence far superior to theirs— that this youth 
would obtain the justice so long asked for by 
Catholics, and which was denied even to their 
eloquence and patriotism. 

These meetings were carefully watched, and 

Major Sirr, but too well known for undertaking any 

mean office required by Government, clattered into 

the Royal Exchange Hall when Mr. Moore had taken 

the chair, and O'Connell was preparing to speak. 

He had a look at the resolutions, which were drawn 

up by O'Connell himself, probably his first effort in 

that direction, but he could not find anything in them 

to condemn. He dashed out as he had dashed in, 

and O'Connell spoke : 

£< Counsellor O'Connell rose, and in a short speech prefaced 
the resolutions. He said that the question of Union was con- 
fessedly one of the first importance and magnitude. Sunk, 
indeed, in more than criminal apathy must that Irishman be, 
who could feel indifferent on the subject. It was a measure, 
to the consideration of which we were called by every illumina- 

upper classes of Catholics took on themselves to be spokesmen for 
the rest. They expected Emancipation, and believed the promises 
of Government. The middle classes were by no means so sanguine, 
and judged far more correctly. 



tion of the understanding and every feeling of the heart. 
There was, therefore, no necessity to apologise for the intro- 
ducing the discussion of the question amongst Irishmen. But 
before he brought forward any resolution, he craved permission 
to make a few observations on the causes which produced the 
necessity of meeting as Catholics— as a separate and distinct 
body. In doing so, he thought, he would clearly show that 
they were justifiable in at length deviating from a resolution 
which they had heretofore formed. The enlightened mind of 
the Catholics had taught them the impolicy, the illiberality, and 
the injustice of separating themselves on any occasion from the 
rest of the people of Ireland. The Catholics had therefore 
resolved, and they had wisely resolved, never more to appear 
before the public as a distinct and separate body ; but they did 
not — they could not then foresee the unfortunately existing 
circumstances -of this moment. They could not then foresee 
that they would be reduced to the necessity, either of submitting 
to the disgraceful imputation of approving of a measure, as de- 
testible to them as it was ruinous to their country, or once 
again, and he trusted for the last time, of coming forward as a 
distinct body. 

" There was no man present but was acquainted with the 
industry with which it was circulated, that the Catholics were 
favourable to the Union. In vain did multitudes of that body, 
in different capacities, express their disapprobation of the 
measure ; in vain did they concur with others of their fellow- 
subjects in expressing then* abhorrence of it — as freemen or 
freeholders, electors of counties or inhabitants of cities — still 
the calumny was repeated ; it was printed in journal after 
journal ; it was published in pamphlet after pamphlet ; it was 
circulated with activity in private companies ; it was boldly 
and loudly proclaimed in public assemblies. How this clamour 
was raised, and how it was supported, was manifest ; the 
motives of it were apparent. 

"In vain had the Catholics (individually) endeavoured to 
resist the torrent. Their future efforts, as individuals, would 


Ma rked Appi v ba tio 1 1 . 

be equally vain and fruitless ; they must then oppose it 

" There was another reason why they should come forward 
as a distinct class— a reason which he confessed had made the 
greatest impression upon his feelings. Not content with 
falsely asserting that the Catholics favoured the extinction of 
Ireland, this, their supposed inclination, was attributed to the 
foulest motives — motives which were most repugnant to their 
judgments, and most abhorrent to their hearts ; it was said 
that the Catholics were ready to sell their country for a price, 
or what was still more depraved, to abandon it on account of 
the unfortunate animosities which the wretched temper of the 
times had produced ; can they remain silent under so horrible 
a calumny ? This calumny was flung on the whole body ; it 
was incumbent on the whole body to come forward and con- 
tradict it. Yes, they will show every friend of Ireland that 
the Catholics are incapable of selling their country ; they will 
loudly declare that if their emancipation was offered for their 
consent to the measure, even were emancipation after the 
Union a benefit, they would reject it with prompt indignation. 
[This sentiment met with approbation.) Let us," said he, 
i( show to Ireland that we have nothing in view but her good , 
nothing in our hearts but the desire of mutual forgiveness, 
mutual toleration, and mutual affection ; in fine, let every man 
who feels with me proclaim, that if the alternative were offered 
him of Union, or the re-enactment of the Penal Code in all its 
pristine horrors, that he would prefer without hesitation the 
latter, as the lesser and more sufferable evil ; that he would 
rather confide in the justice of his brethren the Protestants of 
Ireland, who have already liberated him, than lay his country 
at the feet of foreigners. [This sentiment met with much and 
marked approbation.] With regard to the Union, so much 
had been said — so much had been written on the subject, that 
it was impossible that any man should not before now have 
formed an opinion on it. , He would not trespass on their 
attention in repeating' arguments which they had already heard, 



and topics which they had already considered. But if there 
was any man present who could be so far mentally degraded as 
to consent to the extinction of the liberty, the constitution, and 
even the name of Ireland, he would call on him not to leave the 
direction and management of his commerce and property to 
strangers, over whom he could have no control." 

The following resolutions were then proposed 
and passed unanimously : 

" Royal Excfiaxge, Dublin, January 13//*, 1800. 

" At a numerous and respectable meeting of the Roman 
Catholics of the city of Dublin, convened pursuant to public 
notice, Ambrose Moore, Esq., in the chair : 

" Resolved— 1 That we are of opinion that the proposed 
incorporate union of the legislature of Great Britain and Ireland 
is, in fact, an extinction of the liberty of this country, which 
would be reduced to the abject condition of a province, sur- 
rendered to the mercy of the minister and legislature of another 
country, to be bound by their absolute will, and taxed at their 
pleasure by laws, in the making of which this country would 
have no efficient participation whatsoever.' 

4 'Resolved — 'That we are of opinion that the improve- 
ment of Ireland for the last twenty years, so rapid beyond 
example, is to be ascribed wholly to the independency of our 
legislature, so gloriously asserted in the year 1782, by virtue 
of our Parliament co-operating with the generous recommenda- 
tion of our most gracious and benevolent sovereign, and backed 
by the spirit of our people, and so solemnly ratified by both 
kingdoms as the only true and permanent foundation of Irish 
prosperity and British connexion.' 

"Resolved — 'That Ave are of opinion, that if that inde- 
pendency should ever be surrendered, we must as rapidly 
relapse into our former depression and misery ; and that 
Ireland must inevitably lose, with her liberty, all that she has 
acquired in wealth, and industry, and civilisation.' 

" Resolved — ' That we are firmly convinced, that the 


Liberality beyond the Age. 

supposed advantages of such a surrender are unreal and 
delusive, and can never arise in fact ; and that even if they 
should arise, they would be only the bounty of the master to 
the slave, held by his courtesy, and resumable at his pleasure.' 

"Resolved — 'That, having heretofore determined not to 
come forward any more in the distinct character of Catholics*, 
but to consider our claims and our cause not as those of a sect, 
but as involved in the general fate of our country — we now 
think it right, notwithstanding such determination, to publish 
the present resolutions, in order to undeceive our fellow- subjects 
who may have been led to believe, by a false representation, 
that we are capable of giving any concurrence whatsoever to so 
foul and fatal a project ; to assure them we are incapable of 
sacrificing our common country to either pique or pretension ; 
and that we are of opinion, that this deadly attack upon the 
nation is the great call of nature, of country, and posterity 
upon Irishmen of all descriptions and persuasions, to every con- 
stitutional and legal resistance; and that we sacredly pledge 
ourselves to persevere in obedience to that call as long as we 
have life.' 

" Signed, by order, James Ryan. Sec." 

How little O'Connell could have anticipated his 
future when lie expressed so ardent a hope that this 
occasion might be the last, as well as the first, on 
which Catholics should come forward publicly as a 
body ! How little he anticipated the thousand times 
on which his thrillino; words should arouse the 
slumbering soul of the Irish celt, and animate him to 
new efforts for his religion and his nationality ! How 
little he anticipated that his voice should one day 
rouse British statesmen to consider the past and 
present wrongs of Ireland, and obtain from the manly 
justice of the noble-minded amongst them, or from 

Bitter Memories, 


the cringing fear of the base, the rights which had 
been so long asked and so long denied. 

With a liberality beyond the age, he declared 
liiinself ready to confide in the justice of Irish 
Protestants rather than in the doubtful mercies of 
English rulers. 

It would be well, indeed, that those who accuse 
O'Connell of exceptional bitterness in his way of 
speaking when English rule was in question, should 
romember 1 lis early life — should remember that lie 
witnessed all the horrors of the rebellion, that he had 
personal experience of all the treachery of Govern- 
ment. 1 He was precisely at the age when such im- 

1 An important instance of how the memory or tradition of past 
wrongs excites men to seize the first opportunity of revenge, if no^ 
of redress, has occurred in our own times. It is a circumstance 
which should be very carefully pondered by statesmen who have the 
real interest of the whole nation at heart. It is a circumstance, as 
a sample of many other similar cases, which should be known to 
every Englishman who wishes to understand the causes of "Irish 
disturbances.' ' "One of the men who was shot by the police 
during the late Fenian outbreak in Ireland, was a respectable 
farmer named Peter Crowley. His history tells the motive for 
which he risked and lost his life. His grandfather had been out- 
lawed in the rebellion of '98. His uncle, Father Peter O'Neill, had 
been imprisoned and flogged vi<?st barbarously with circumHtances of 
peculiar cruelty, in Cork, in the year 1798. The memory of the in- 
sult and injury done to a priest, who was entirely guiltless of the 
crimes with which he was charged, left a legacy of bitterness and 
hatred of Saxon rule in the whole family, which, unhappily, religion 
failed to eradiate. Peter Crowley was a sober, industrious, steady 
man, and his parish priest, who attended his deathbed, pronounced 
his end ' most happy and edifying.' Three clergymen and a pro- 
<; fusion of young men, women, and children, scattering flowers before 
the coffin, and bearing green boughs, attended his remains to the 

Personal Appearance. 

pressions would be taken most vividly — would be 
stereotyped upon the memory most indelibly. If he 
spoke at times in rude language, and told plain truths 
in the plainest words, it was because he had witnessed 
cruel deeds, for which no apology was or could be 

O'Connell's personal appearance at this time has 
been described somewhat invidiously by Sir Jonah 
Barrington, but the likeness given of him at the head 
of the following chapter shows that his appearance 
must have been singularly pleasing. 

The bright kindly blue eyes flashed with intelli- 
gence and that dash of humour which seems iDherent 
to the Irish character. His action was gentle, but 
sufficiently marked. His form was strong and 

grave. He was mourned as a patriot, who had loved his country, 
not wisely but too well ; and it was believed that his motive for 
joining the Fenian ranks was less from a desire of revenge, which 
would have been sinful, than from a mistaken idea of freeing his 
country from a repetition of the cruelties of '98, and from her 
present grievances." 

Arthur Young had, several years previously, made the following 
sensible observations on the probable effects of the Union : 

" In conversation upon the subject of a Union with Great Britain, 
I was informed that nothing was so unpopular in Ireland as such an 
idea, and that the great objection to it was increasing the number of 
absentees. When it was in agitation, twenty peers and sixty com- 
moners were talked of to sit in the British Parliament, which would 
be the residence of eighty of the best estates in England. Going 
every year to England would by degrees make them residents ; they 
would educate their children there, and in time would become mere 
absentees ; becoming so, they would be unpopular ; and others would 
be elected who, treading in the same steps, would yield the places 
still to others." 

•■.I very strange being " -37 

muscular, but devoid of that portliness which gave 
dignity to his later years. The features were clearlv 
cut and tolerably regular. It was not a handsome 
face, but it was a kindly one, and scarcely told all 
the power of mind that lay hidden within. 

However lie may have disliked Pitt as a politi- 
cian, he admired him as an elocutionist. Already 
O'Connell had so far anticipated his future career, as 
to take special pains with his address in public, but 
only with a view to success at the bar. He did not, 
he could not, have anticipated how his voice would 
roll thunder tones at historic Tara and Mullaghmast. 

O'Connell spoke thus of G rattan to Mr. Daunt : 

" Pitt," he said, <; had a grand majestic march of language, 
and a full melodious voice. Grattan's eloquence was full of 
lire, but had not the melody or dignity of Pitt's ; yet nobody 
quoted Pitt's sayings, whereas, Grattan was always saying 
things that everybody quoted and remembered. I did not,'' 
said Mr. O'Connell, '" hear Grattan make any of his famous 
speeches ; but I have heard him in public. He had great 
power, and great oddity— he almost swept the ground with his 
odd action. His conversation contained much humour of a dry 
antithetical kind ; and he never relaxed a muscle, whilst his 
hearers were convulsed with laughter. He abounded with 
auecdotes of the men with whom he politically acted, and told 
them very well. I met him at dinner at the house of an uncle 
of O'Conor Don, and the conversation turned on Lord Kings- 
borough, grandfather to the present Earl of Kingston, a very 
strange being, who married at sixteen a cousin of his own, aged 
fifteen — used to dress like a roundhead of Cromwell's time, 
kept his hair close shorn, and wore a plain coat without a 
collar. Grattan said of this oddity, 1 He was the strangest 
compound of incongruities I ever knew ; he combined the 


Reminiscence of Pitt and Fox. 

greatest personal independence with the most crouching political 
servility to ministers ; he was the most religious man, and the 
most profligate ; he systematically read every day a portion of 
the Bible, and marked his place in the sacred volume with an 
obscene ballad.' 

"I dare say/ said" Mr. O'Connell, after a pause, "that 
Grattan told 0' Conor to ask me to dinner. I was then 
beginning to be talked of, and people like to see a young person 
who acquires notoriety." 

O'Connell had a very high opinion of Grattans 

son. One day, in pointing him out to an English 

friend, he said : 

" That is Henry Grattan, son of the great Irish patriot. 
He inherits all his father's devotion to Ireland. If you pre- 
sented a pistol at his head, and if he were persuaded his own 
immediate death would secure the Repeal of the Union, he 
would say, ' In the name of heaven, fire away !' " 

The speech was certainly characteristic of the man 
who made it. 

Speaking of Pitt, O'Connell observed : 

" He struck me as having the most majestic flow of 
language and the finest voice imaginable. He managed his 
voice admirably. It was from him I learned to throw out the 
lower tones at the close of my sentences. Most men either let 
their voice fall at the end of their sentences, or else force it 
into a shout or screech. This is because they end with the 
upper instead of the lower notes. Pitt knew better. He threw 
his voice so completely round the House, that every syllable he 
uttered was distinctly heard by every man in the House." 

Mr. Daunt inquired if he had heard Fox in the 

same debate. He replied : 

" Yes, and he spoke delightfully ; his speech was better 
than Pitt's. The forte of Pitt as an orator was majestic deck- 

After Record of Impressions, 


mation, and an inimitable felicity of praise. The word he used 
was always the very best word that could be got to express his 
idea. The only man I ever knew who approached Pitt in this 
particular excellence, was Charles Kendal Bushe, whose phrases 
were always admirably happy." 1 

O'Connell expressed himself very strongly on the 
subject of the Union in the Report of the Repeal 
Association, April 1840. This record of his im- 
pressions after the lapse of forty years is valuable and 
important : 

"The second means for carrying the Union were— 'the 
deprivation of all legal protection to liberty or life — the familiar 
u e of torture — the trials by courts-martial— the forcible sup- 
pression of public meetings— the total stilling of public 
opinion — and the use of armed violence.' 

u All the time the Union was under discussion, the Habeas 
Corpus Act was susi'LNdld — nu man could call one hour's 
liberty his own. 

All the time the Union was under discussion, courts- 
martial had power unlimited over life and limb. Bound by 
no definite form or charge, nor by any rule of evidence, the 
courts- alartt al threatened with death those who should dare 
to resist the spoliation of their birthrights. 

" There was no redress for the most cruel and tyrannical 

1 O'Counell had a great dislike to being showu as a " lion " at 
public plicate dinners. On such occasions he rarely spoke. Mr. 
Daunt says : "I was once at a dinner party in Dublin, when our 
host proposed O'Connell's health in a complimentary speech, which 
he ended by saying that he abstained from warmer eulogy through 
.''ear of wounding the modesty of his distinguished guest. O'Connell 
rose to return thanks, and commenced his speech by saying : ' My 
friend has alluded to my modesty. Whatever my original amount 
of that quality may have been, I certainly have never worn any of it 
out by too frequent use ; so that I have the whole original stock 
quite ready for service on the present occasion.' " 


O'Connell in Personal Danger. 

imprisonment. The persons of the king's Irish subjects were 
at the caprice of the king's ministers. The lives of the kings 
Irish subjects were at the sport and whim of the boys, young 
and old, of the motley corps of English militia, Welsh 
mountaineers, Scotch fencibles, and Irish yeomanry. At 
such a moment as that, when the gaols icere crammed with 
unaccused victims, and the scaffolds ivere reeking with the 
blood of untried wretches — at such a moment as that, was it 
that the British minister committed this act of spoliation and 
robbery, which enriched England but little, and made Ireland 
poor indeed. 

" Besides the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, and 
the consequent insecurity to personal liberty — besides the ex- 
istence of courts-martial, and the consequent insecurity of 
human life ; besides all these, actual force was used — meetings 
of counties, duly convened to deliberate on the measure, were 
dispersed by military force. It was not at Maryborough or 
Clonmel alone that the military were called out— horse, foot, 
and artillery — to scatter, and they did scatter, meetings con- 
vened by the legal authorities to expostulate, to petition against 
the Union. Force was a peculiar instrument to suppress all 
constitutional opposition. 

" Why should we dwell longer on this part of the subject 
when in a single paragraph we have, in eloquent language, a 
masterly description, which easily supersedes any attempt of 
ours ? Here are the words of Plunket — ' I will be bold to 
say, that licentious and impious France, in all the unrestrained 
excesses that anarchy and atheism have given birth to, has not 
committed a more insidious act against her enemy, than is now 
attempted by the professed champion of civilised Europe against 
Ireland — a friend and ally — in the hour of her calamity and 
distress. At a moment when our country is filled with British 
troops — whilst the Habeas Corpus Act is suspended — whilst 
trials by courts-martial are carrying on in many parts of the 
kingdom — while the people are made to believe that they have 
no right to meet and deliberate, and whilst the people are 

( 'kiralrous Conduct. 


palsied by their fears — at the moment when we are distracted 
by internal dissentions, dissentions kept alive as the pretext of 
our present subjugation, and the instrument of our future 
thraldom— such is the time in which the Union is proposed." 

O'Connell was in great personal danger at this 
period on more than one occasion. While doing 
duty in the Volunteer corps, he was posted as a 
sentry near one of the canal bridges, and was ordered 
by his officer to fire on some unarmed country people 
who were passing at the other side of the canal, after 
the hour at which martial law permitted persons to 
be about. He positively refused to perform this act 
of wanton cruelty, and in consequence was in danger 
of beinor himself the victim. On another occasion he 
was one of a party who had orders to search a hotel 
in James's Street, for suspected parties who were 
thought to have arrived there by the canal boat ; he 
had singly to oppose the wanton and licentious 
violence of his comrades, who sought to drag an in- 
offensive stranger and his wife from their beds. His 
son observes : 

u His experience in these sad times has left an indelible im- 
pression upon him of the danger of entrusting civilians with 
arms ; the tendency, in his own words, that a man has, £ when 
he has arms in his hands, to be a ruffian,' being uncontrolled 
by that custom of bearing them under strict restraints and 
practices of long discipline, which makes the soldier patient 
and forbearing. The 1 lawyers' infantry' were of course, com- 
posed of gentlemen. The education for the arduous profession 
of the bar should, one would have thought, have tended to re- 
fine the mind, and teach restraint over the brute impulses : 
and yet, among some, there was a spirit of licence and outrage 



Appeal for Emancipation* 

pervailing, that the most reckless and disorderly soldiery could 
scarcely equal." 

He was in danger again in trying to save the life 
of a defenceless man from a member of the attorneys' 
corps, who was trying to cut him down simply 
because he was alone and helpless. O'Connell re- 
ceived the sword cut on the barrel of his musket, 
and the deep indentation which it made proved how 
fatal the blow would have been if it had been re- 
ceived by the person for whom it was intended. 

Mr. Wagget, afterwards Recorder of Cork, was 
O'Connell's sergeant, and, happily for him, happened 
to come up at the moment. A few words explained 
matters, and he at once took O'Connell's part, but he 
only got rid of the attorney by charging him with 
his halbert. 

The Union passed, and the Catholics were not 

emancipated. The state of the country was alarming. 

The harvest had failed in the autumn of 1799, yet 

Mr. Pitt would not allow any corn to be exported to 

Ireland, until Lord Cornwallis had made the most 

urgent representations on the subject. He wrote to 

Major-General Ross, stating, " that every Catholic of 

influence was in danger." On the 22nd of November, 

1799, he wrote to the Duke of Portland : 

" I most earnestly hope that your Grace and His Majesty's 
other confidential servants will see this matter in the same 
light with me, and that you will allow the Roman Catholic 
peers to vote for the representatives of the peerage, on their 
taking the same oaths that are required from the electors of 
their communion when they give their votes for members of 

Min isterial Duplicity. 


the House of Commons. I have had a most difficult line to 
pursue, but amidst the violence of factions and religious 
prejudices, I have gone steadily to my point, and I think I 
may now venture to say that I have, in a great measure, gained 
the confidence and good-will of the Catholics without losing 
the Protestants. But if the former see cause to believe that I 
am disposed to adopt the ancient system, or that I am a man 
of straw, without weight or consideration, things will soon re- 
vert to their former course, and I shall, \ orhaps, be the most 
improper man to hold my present station." 

On the 28th November. Lord Castlereagh wrote 
to the Duke of Portland : 

" Your Grace and Mr. Pitt will, I trust, both have an 
opportunity of satisfying Lord Clare's feelings in respect to the 
line hereafter to be pursued towards the Catholics before he 
leaves London. Of course, no further hopes will be held forth 
to that body by the Irish Government without specific directions 
from your Grace, and I fairly confess I entertain very great 
doubts whether any more distinct explanation than has already 
been given would at present be politically advantageous ; it is 
enough to feel assured that we are not suffering them to form 
expectations which must afterwards be disappointed, under the 
disadvantage of having dexterity, if not duplicity, imputed to 
Government in the conduct of the measure." 

No " further hopes" were held out because the 
work was done ; but, undoubtedly, both " dexterity" 
and " duplicity" were attributed with every reason to 
the English Government. Ministers w r ere perfectly 
well aware that they had acted with " duplicity," but, 
they found a convenient excuse— the king, they said 
would not hear of Emancipation. This was quite 
true ; but the king was honest as well as obstructive, 

Systematic Deception. 

and at least spoke out, and declared that he had not 
been a party to the promise. 1 

Lord Castlereagh wrote a " most private" letter 
to the Eight Honourable William Pitt, on the 1st of 
January, 1801, in which he puts the whole state of 
the case into the plainest possible language, in which 
he showed how absolutely necessary the assistance of the 
Catholic body was in order to carry the Union, and how 
he had been ordered to draw the Catholics on. The 
object was gained, and if there was not another 
document in existence besides this letter to show 
how shamefully the Catholics were duped, it would 
be more than sufficient. 

At last, and with considerable difficulty, the 
upper class of Catholics were made to understand 

1 " The King to the Eight Hon. Henry Dundas. 

" Windsor, February 7th, 1801. 
"I cannot but regret that on the late unhappy occasion I had 
not been treated with more confidence previous to forming an 
opinion, which, to my greatest surprise, I learnt on Thursday from 
Earl Spencer, has been in agitation ever since Lord Castlereagh came 
over in August, yet of which I never had the smallest suspicion till 
within these very weeks ; but so desirous was I to avoid the present 
conclusion, that, except what passed with Earl Spencer and Lord 
Grenville, about three weeks past, and a hint I gave to Mr. Secre- 
tary Dundas on Wednesday sevennight, I have been silent on the 
subject, and, indeed, hoping that Mr. Pitt had not pledged himself 
on what I cannot with my sentiments of religious and political duty 
think myself at liberty to concur. Mr. Secretary Dundas has known 
my opinions when he corresponded with the Earl of Westmoreland, 
then Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, and at least will do me the justice 
to recollect that both then, and when afterwards brought forward by 
the Earl Fitzwilliam, my language perfectly coincided with my 
present conduct. " George R." 

Present Policy. 


how they had been treated. It might have been 
supposed that they had learned a life-long lesson, but 
there are persons on whom experience is wasted. 

Mr. Pitt tried to save his character by resigning ; 
being fully aware that he would be at once recalled 
to office, having already intimated that he would not 
" press the measure" under the present circum- 
stances. 1 The Catholics were to be " made to feel" 

1 Lord Castlereagh sent the following letter of instruction from 
London, July 9, 1801, to Lord Cornwallis : 

" Mr. Pitt will take the first opportunity of the question being 
regularly before the House to state his opinion at length upon it, but 
he does not think that it will be expedient either with reference to 
the success of the question itself, or the predicament in which the 
King stands, for him to press the measure under the present circum- 
stances. The inclination of his mind, after having argued the ques- 
tion, is not to vote at all. He is of opinion that to try the question 
now, would only pledge people against it ; that we should have no 
chance of success in the Lords, and that if we earned it through 
both Houses, the King would at all risks refuse his assent. But a 
still stronger reason operates in his mind for not so pressing it, 
which he particularly desires that I may represent to your Excel- 
lency — namely, the conviction that were the question so earned it 
would be deprived of all its benefits. Under these considerations, it 
is his wish that your Excellency, without bringing forward the King's 
name, should make the Catholics feel that an obstacle which the 
King's ministers could not surmount, precluded them from bringing 
forward the measure whilst in office ; that their attachment to the 
question was such that they felt it impossible to continue in admini- 
stration under the impossibility of proposing it with the necessary 
concurrence, and that they retired from the King's service, consider- 
ing this line of conduct as most likely to contribute to the ultimate 
success of the measure ; to represent to them how much their future 
hopes must depend upon strengthening their cause by good conduct ; 
in the meantime, that they ought to weigh their prospects as arising 
from the persons who now espouse their interests, and compare them 
with those which they could look to from any other quarter. . . . 


O'Connell a Freemason. 

that there were obstacles, or rather that there was 
one obstacle which the King's ministers could not 
surmount, and the King's ministers supposed, or 
believed, or hoped, that the Catholics would have 
the good sense to " see that it was their duty to be 
thankful for what was intended to be done for them ; 
and also, and beyond all, that they would not be so 
inconsiderate as to annoy or embarrass Government 
in any way under the circumstances. " 

O'Connell joined the Freemasons in 1779. He 
was not aware that it was against Catholic principles 
for him to do so, and has given the following account 
of the matter himself : 

" I was a Freemason and master of a Lodge : it was at a 
very early period of my life, and either before an ecclesiastical 

They must distinctly understand that he could not concur in a hope- 
less attempt at this moment to force it, and that he must at all times 
repress, with the same decision as if he held an adverse opinion, any 
unconstitutional conduct in the Catholic body. This will give your 
Excellency the outline of that communication which he thinks him- 
self alone authorised to make to them. To look to any specific time 
to which they might attach their hopes, is so indefinite and so 
delicate a consideration as your Excellency will feel is scarcely to be 
touched upon. From what has already passed, the prospect of a 
change of sentiment on the part of the King seems too hopeless to 
be held out in promise to the Catholics as any ground of hope, and 
his death is that solution of the difficulty which all parties must 
equally deprecate. The prospect is, therefore, not very encouraging 
in itself, yet, unpromising as it is, we must endeavour to make them 
feel that their particular interests, as well as their duty, will be best 
consulted rather by a temperate and loyal conduct than by giving 
way to those feelings connected with disappointment and despair. 
Such are the principles we must practise, and I wish it were reason- 
able to expect that they would be implicitly acted upon." — Com- 
wallis' Correspondence, vol. iii. p. 83d. 

Lesson in Prudence. 


censure Lad beeu published in the Catholic Church in Ireland 
prohibiting the taking of the Masonic oaths, or at least before 
I was aware of that censure. Freemasonry in Ireland," adds 
O'Connell, " may be said to have (apart from its oaths) no evil 
tendency, save as far as it may counteract the exertions of 
those most laudable and useful institutions, the temperance 
societies. The important objection is the profane taking in 
vain the awful name of the Deity in the wanton and multiplied 
oaths — oaths administered on the book of God — without any 
adequate motive." 

lt O'ConnelTs movements have not been very 
accurately recorded during the early part of his life, 
but it would appear that lie visited Darrynane im- 
mediately after the passing of the Union, as he has 
recorded his impressions while travelling among the 
wild mountainous districts between Kenmare and 
Killarney : 

The year of the Union I was travelling through the 
mountain district from Killarney to Kenmare— my heart was 
heavy at the loss that Ireland had sustained, and the day was 
wild and gloomy. That desert district, too, was congenial to 
impressions of solemnity and sadness. There was not a 
human habitation to be seen for many miles ; black, giant 
clouds sailed slowly through the sky, and rested on the tops of 
the hugh mountains ; my soul felt dreary, and I had many wild 
and Ossianic inspirations as I traversed the bleak solitudes. 

" It was the Union that first stirred me up to come forward 
in politics. My uncle Maurice was scarcely pleased at my 
taking a public part ; not that he approved of the Union, but 
politics appeared to him to be fraught with great peril." 

O'Connell got some lessons in prudence during 
this eventful period which served him well in his 
after life. Young men, who only knew traditionally 


A Pointed Argument. 

of the terrible scenes in which he had been a personal 
actor, reproached him with cowardice, but a coward 
he never was. His friend Mr. Daunt, has faithfully 
recorded his own reasons for prudence : 

" I learned from the example of the United Irishmen the 
lesson, that in order to succeed for Ireland, it was strictly 
necessary to work within the limits of the law and constitution. 
I say/ that fraternities, -banded illegally, never could be safe ; 
that invariably some person without principle would be sure to 
gain admission into such societies ; and either for ordinary 
bribes, or else in times of danger for their own preservation, 
would betray their associates. Yes ; the United Irishmen 
taught me that all work for Ireland must be done openly and 

We find O'Connell in Dublin again in the winter 
of 1801, and dining with a party of Freemasons at 
their tavern in Golden Lane. As he returned home 
there was a cry of fire, then a cry for water to stop 
the devouring flames. O'Connell seized a pick-axe 
from an incompetent labourer, and continued working 
with a will. The excitement and the potations in 
which he had indulged at the Freemasons' banquet 
were too much for his head. He worked on, regard- 
less of threats or entreaties, and would soon have 
had the whole pavement ripped up, had a soldier not 
run a bayonet at him. This pointed argument had 
its effect, but it would have terminated O'Connell's 
career abruptly, only for the cover of his hunting- 
watch which he happened to wear. " If it had not 
been for the watch," O'Connell used to say when 
relating this adventure, " there would have been an 
end of the agitator." 

Life was in him." 


O'Conuell's extraordinary talents were soon re- 
cognised, and, though the pitiful illiberality of the 
times would not allow a Catholic a silk gown, he 
could not complain of public neglect. One or two 
of his amusing and successful cross-examinations got 
talked about, and his professional fortune was made. 

u 0' Council's cross examination consisted of a series of 
attacks and retreats, which gradually clouded the minds of the 
judge and jury with serious doubts as to the witness's 
credibility, and this even when the witness was veracious. As 
a necessary consequence, he became the favourite lawyer in 
the criminal court of the Munster circuit, and often rescued the 
victim of agrarian oppression from the fangs of law and the 
ignominy of the gallows. 

" O'Connell, on one occasion, was engaged in a will case. 
It was the allegation of the plaintiffs that the will, by which 
considerable property had been devised, was a forgery. The 
subscribing witnesses swore that the will had been signed by 
the deceased while ' life was in him' — a mode of expression 
derived from the Irish language, and which peasants who have 
ceased to speak Irish still retain. The evidence was altogether 
in favour of the will, and the defendants had every reason to 
calculate on success, when O'Connell undertook to cross- 
examine one of the witnesses. He was struck by the per- 
sistency of this man, who, in reply to his question, never 
deviated from the formula, ' the life was in him.' 

" ' On the virtue of your oath, was he alive ?' 

" 1 By the virtue of my oath, the life was in him,' repeated 
the witness. 

'* ' Now I call on you in the presence of your Maker, who 
will one day pass sentence on you for this evidence ; I solemnly 
ask — and answer me at your peril — was there not a live fly in 
the dead man's mouth when his hand was placed on the will.' 

" The witness was palsied by this question; he trembled, 
shivered, and turned pale, and faltered out an abject confession 


Proving an Alibi. 

that the counsellor was right — a fly had been introduced into 
the mouth of the deceased to enable the witnesses to swear that 
life was in him !" 1 

There were some curious scenes in the law courts 
at the commencement of the present century. Men 
were not unfrequently sentenced to death with a 
joke, 1 and were hung for the merest suspicion. It 
was little wonder that O'Connell's skill in cross- 
examination made him the favourite of the multitude. 
To have O'Connell for counsel was, in the majority 
of cases, to secure a verdict for his client. 

Lord Norbury threw aside every attempt at 
decency in his j udicial career. lie was the descendant 
of a Cromwellian soldier, and had managed, by con- 
siderable talent not of the highest order, to seat 
himself on the bench. 

O'Connell has described him thus : 

" He had a considerable parrot-sort of knowledge of law — 
he had upon his memory an enormous number of cases, but he 
did not understand, nor was he capable of understanding, a 

1 Fagan's Life of O'Connell. 

2 " What is your calling or occupation, my honest man ? " said 
Lord Norbury to a witness. " Please your lordship, I keep a racket 
court." " So do 7," rejoined Lord Norbury, chuckling in exulting 
allusion to the noise, uproar, and racket which his witticisms con- 
stantly awakened in court. 

"When they were burying Norbury," added O'Connell, "the 
grave was so deep that the ropes by which they were letting down 
the coffin did not reach to the bottom. The coffin remained hang- 
ing at mid-depth while somebody was sent for more rope. 1 Ay,' 
cried a butcher's apprentice, ' give him rope enough. It would 
be a pity to stint him. It's himself never grudged a poor man the 

Bearding a Judge. 


a single principle of law. To be sure, his charges were the 
strangest effusions. When charging the jury in the action 
brought by Guthrie versus Sterne, to recover damages for 
criminal conversation with the plaintiff's wife, Norbury said — - 
' Gentlemen of the jury, The defendant in this case is Henry 
William Godfrey Baker Sterne — and there, gentlemen, you 
have him from stem to Sterne. I am free to observe, gentle- 
men, that if this Mr. Henry William Godfrey Baker Sterne 
had as many Christian virtues as he has Christian names, we 
never should see the honest gentleman figuring here as 
defendant in an action for crim con.' " 

O'Connell was always ready to help his legal 
brethren. For the judges, he cared very little. His 
popularity was already established on the permanent 
basis of success, and they could do him little harm. 
On one occasion when a young barrister, named 
Martley, rose to make his first motion, he was con- 
stantly and rudely interrupted by Judge Johnson, 
his learned brother, Lord Norbury, joining in the ill- 
natured interruptions with his usual zest. 

The young barrister at last became hopelessly 
confused. At this moment O'Connell entered the 
court, ascertained what was going on, urgently 
entreated some of the older members of the bar to 
interfere, but they were all unwilling. Lord Norbury 
was not a person to be bearded with impunity. 
O'Connell no longer hesitated ; whether in a war of 
words or swords he was equally ready to throw him- 
self between the oppressor and the oppressed, with- 
out a thought of self. He addressed the bench 
fearlessly : 

"My lords, I respectfully submit that Mr. Martley has a 


A Confirmed Offender. 

perfect title to a fall hearing. He has a duty to discharge to 
his client, and should not, I submit, be impeded in the dis- 
charge of that duty. Mr. Martley is not personally known to 
me, but I cannot sit here in silence while a brother-barrister is 
treated so discourteously." " Oh ! Mr. O'Connell, we have 
heard Mr. Martley," said Lord Norbury, " and we cannot 
allow the time of the court to be further wasted." " Pardon 
me, my lord, you have not heard him. The young gentleman 
has not been allowed to explain his case — an explanation which, 
I am quite sure, he is capable of giving if your lordships will 
afford him the opportunity." " Mr. O'Connell," said Judge 
Johnson, with an air of great pomposity, " are you engaged in 
this case that you thus presume to interfere?" " My lord, I 
am not ; I merely rise to defend the privileges of the bar, and 
I will not permit them to be violated either in my own, or the 
person of any other member of the profession." " Well, well ; 
well, well," interposed Lord Norbury, " we'll hear Mr. 
Martley— we'll hear Mr. Martley. Sit down, Mr. O'Connell ; 
sit down." 

Having thus carried his point, Mr. O'Connell, in 
obedience to the bench, sat down ; and Mr. Martley, 
whose gratitude to O'Connell was sincere and lasting, 
stated his case so satisfactorily as to obtain his 

O'Connell on one occasion was engaged to defend 
a highwayman, who had committed robbery on the 
public road in the vicinity of Cork ; and, owing to 
the masterly manner in which O'Connell sifted the 
evidence and cross-examined the witnesses, the 
robber was acquitted. The following year on re- 
turning to Cork, O'Connell saw the same hardened 
face resting on the same well-worn dock, grim and 
ruffianly, and accused of very nearly the same 

Gratitude of the Prisoner. 


crime — burglary, accompanied by an aggravated 
assault, which was proximate to murder. The 
culprit, as in the former case, was fortunate enough 
to secure the services of O'Connell, who puzzled the 
witnesses, perplexed the judge, and bewildered the 
jury — owing to whose hopeless disagreement the 
prisoner was discharged. His industrious client, 
when restored to liberty, had no notion of sitting 
down in sluggish idleness : he stole a collier-brig, 
sold the cargo, purchased arms with the price, and 
cruised along the coast in quest of booty ; and when 
O'Connell returned to Cork he was once more in the 
dock charged with piracy. His defence was under- 
taken by O'Connell for the third time. O'Connell 
showed that the crime did not come under the 
cognizance of the court, as it had been perpetrated 
♦ on the high seas ; it came under the cognizance only 
of the Admiralty. The gratitude of the prisoner 
was warmly expressed — raising his hands and eyes to 
heaven, he exclaimed, " Oh ! may the Lord spare you 
to me r 

O'Connell was counsel before Judge Day on 
another occasion, for a man who stole some goats. 
The fact was proved, whereupon O'Connell produced 
to Judge Day an old Act of Parliament, empowering 
the owners of corn-fields, gardens, or plantations, to 
kill and destroy all hares, rabbits, and goats tres- 
passing thereon. O'Connell contended that this legal 
power of destruction clearly demonstrated that goats 
were not property, and thence inferred that the 


"A Poor Slovenly Blockhead 11 

stealer of goats was not legally a thief, or punishable 
as such. Judge Day, was so unacquainted with the 
law that he charged the jury accordingly, and the 
prisoner was acquitted. 1 

But O'Connell's practice was not confined to 
criminal cases. The following case which he has 
left on record shows how singularly clear his mind 
was, and how he grasped a subject at once in all its 
bearings : 

" I recollect I once had a client, an unlucky fellow, against 
whom a verdict had been given for a balance of ^61100. We 
were trying to set aside that verdict. I was young at the bar 
at that time ; my senior counsel contented themselves with 
abusing the adverse witnesses, detecting flaws in their evidence, 
and making sparkling points ; in short they made very flou- 
rishing, eloquent, but rather ineffective speeches. While they 
flourished away I got our client's book, and taking my place 
immediately under the judge's bench, I opened the accounts 
and went through them all from beginning to end. I got the 
whole drawn out by double entry, and got numbers for every 
voucher. The result plainly was, that so far from their being 
a just balance of d£1100 against our poor devil, there actually 
was a balance of ,6700 in his favour, although the poor 
slovenly blockhead did not know it himself. When my turn 
came, I made the facts as clear as possible to the judge and 
jury ; and the jury inquired if they could not find a verdict of 
£700 in his favour. I just tell you the circumstance," con- 
tinued O'Connell, "to show you that I keep an eye on that 
important branch of my profession." 

1 However deficient Judge Day may have been in forensic 
ability, he was an excellent shot — and he lmew it. O'Connell used 
to call Lord Norbury " one of Castlereagh's unprincipled janissaries." 

Chapter J$i*% 


On Circuit: In Court: Bar Anecdotes: Marriage: 
On Guard : Fresh Risings and Revenges : 
Catholic Church: Catholic Priests and Protes- 
tant Clergy : Maynooth : The Veto : Pole : 
Wellesley : Castlereagh: Plain Speaking: Love 
of Justice: Resolution to Petition: Effects of 
the Union: Demand for its Repeal: Speech: 
Petition : The Hierarchy : The Protestant Bishop 
of Meath : The Edinburgh Review : Cobbett : 
Lift into Popularity. 

WRITER of the day 
has left a most graphic 
account of O'Connell on 
circuit, from which we 
the following extracts. 
He describes himself as : 

" Sitting at the window of a vil- 
lage inn one evening, when he was suddenly aroused 
by the thundering of five horses and a chariot, which 
soon appeared in sight. The moment they arrived at 
the inn the animals were sharply checked, the door 
was flung open, and the occupier hurriedly threw him- 
self out. 

" * Bring out four horses, instantly ! ' was the com- 
mand he uttered in the loud voice of haste and 

" The inmate of the carriage was about five feet eleven 
and a half inches high, and wore a portly, stout, hale, and 



O'Connell on Circuit. 

agreeable appearance. His shoulders were broad, and his legs 
stoutly built ; and as he at that moment stood, one arm in his 
side pocket, the other thrust into a waistcoat, which was almost 
completely unbuttoned from the heat of the day, he would have 
made a good figure for the rapid but fine-finishing touch of 
Harlowe. His head was covered with a light fur cap, which, 
partly thrown back, displayed that breadth of forehead which I 
have never yet seen absent from real talent. His eyes appeared 
to me, at that instant, to be between a light bine and a grey 
colour. His face was pale and sallow, as if the turmoil of 
business, the shade of care, or the study of midnight, had 
chased away the glow of health and youth. Around his mouth 
played a cast of sarcasm, which, to a quick eye, at once be- 
trayed satire ; and it appeared as if the lips could be easily 
resolved into risus sardonicus. His head was somewhat 
larger than that which a modern doctrine denominates the 
'medium size and it was well supported by a stout and well- 
foundationed pedestal, which was based on a breast— full, round, 
prominent, and capacious. 

" He was dressed in an olive-brown surtout, black trousers, 
and black waistcoat. His cravat was carelessly tied — the knot 
almost undone from the heat of the day ; and as he stood with 
his hand across his bosom, and his eyes bent on the ground, he 
was the very picture of a public character hurrying away on 
some important matter which required all of personal exertion 
and mental energy. Often as I have seen him since, I have 
never beheld him in so striking or pictorial an attitude. 

" ' Quick with the horses !' was his hurried ejaculation, as 
he recovered himself from his reverie and flung himself into his 
carriage. The whip was cracked, and away went the chariot 
with the same cloud of dust and the same tremendous pace. 

" I did not see him pay any money. He did not enter the 
inn. He called for no refreshment, nor did he utter a word to 
any person around him ; he seemed to be obeyed by instinct. 
And while I marked the chariot thundering along the street, 

O'Connell and Sergeant Lefroy. 

which had all its then spectators turned on the cloud-enveloped 
vehicle, my curiosity was intensely excited, and I instantly 
descended to learn the name of this extraordinary stranger. 

" Most malapropos, however, were my inquiries. Unfor- 
tunately the landlord was out, the waiter could not tell his 
name, and the hostler ' knew nothing whatsomdever of him, 
oney he was in the most oncommonest hurry.' A short time, 
however, satisfied my curiosity. The next day brought me to 
the capital of the county. It was the assize time. Very fond 
of oratory, I went to the court-house to hear the forensic 
eloquence of the 1 home circuit.' I had scarcely seated myse'.f 
when the same greyish eye, broad forehead, portly figure, and 
strong tone of voice arrested my attention. He was just on 
the moment of addressing the jury, and I anxiously waited to 
hear the speech of a man who had already so strongly interested 
me. After looking at the judge steadily for a moment, he 
began his speech exactly in the following pronunciation — ' My 
Lurrd — Gentlemen of the jury. 1 

M ' Who speaks ?' instantly whispered I.' 

" ' Counsellor O'Connell,' was the reply. 

" Counsel in a case in which his client was capitally 
charged, O'Connell undertook the defence, although the 
attorney considered the chances as utterly hopeless. O'Connell 
knew it was useless to attempt a defence in the ordinary way, 
the evidence being more than sufficient to insure a conviction. 
Serjeant Lefroy, then very young, happened to preside, in the 
absence of one of the judges who had fallen ill. Knowing the 
character of the judge, O'Connell put a number of illegal ques- 
tions to the witness, which the crown prosecutor immediately 
objected to. The learned sergeant decided rather peremptorily 
that he could not allow Mr. O'Connell to proceed with his line 
of examination. 'As you refuse me permission to defend my 
client, I leave his fate in your hands,' said O'Connell — ' his 
blood will be on your head if he be condemned." O'Connell 
Hung out of the court in apparent displeasure, and paced up and 
down on the flagway outside for half-an-hour. At the end of 


The Hope of Clients. 

this time he saw the attorney for the defence rushing out in a 
great hurry without his hat. ' He's acquitted! he's acquitted ! ' 
exclaimed the attorney, in breathless haste and joyous exulta- 
tion. O'Connell smiled with a peculiar expression at the 
success of his stratagem — for such it was. He knew that a 
judge so young as Lefroy must naturally shrink in horror from 
the terrible responsibility of destroying human life. He there- 
fore flung the onus upon the judge, who, in the absence of 
O'Connell, took up the case, and became unconsciously the 
advocate of the prisoner. He conceived a prejudice in favour 
of the accused, cross-examined the witnesses, and finally 
charged the jury in the prisoner's favour. The consequence 
was the complete and unexpected accquittal of the accused. 
' My only chance,' said O'Connell, ' was to throw the responsi- 
bility on the judge, who had a natural timidity of incurring a 
responsibility so serious.'" 

If O'Connell was the hope of clients, he was 
certainly the terror of judges. It was useless to 
attempt to put a man down who, in nine cases out 
of ten, knew more law than they did, and whose 
assurance, right or wrong, was illimitable. It was 
scarcely wise to provoke an encounter. He was 
fond of relating anecdotes of his bar life, and as they 
were all full of interest, and generally full of wit and 
humour, his friends were never weary of listening to 
him. Fortunately their authenticity, even in detail, 
has been secured by the faithful record made of 
them from day to day, by the gentleman who for 
many years accompanied him in his journeys. 

Before referring to O'ConneH's political life, we 
give a few more of these reminiscences : 

" On one occasion, O'Connell was asked by Mr. Daunt, if 
the Irish bar had not a higher reputation for wit in the last 

Bar Anecdotes. 


century than the present ? He said they had now no such wit 
as Curran ; but that other members of the bar participated in 
a great degree in the laughter- stirring quality. 'Holmes,' said 

he, ' has a great share of very clever sarcasm Plunket 

had great wit ; he was a creature of exquisite genius. Nothing 
could be happier than his hit in reply to Lord Kedesdale about 
the kites. In a speech before Piedesdale, Plunket had occasion 
to use the phrase kites very frequently, as designating fraudulent 
bills and promissory notes. Lord RedescLle, to whom the 
phrase was quite new, at length interrupted him, saying : ' I 
don't quite understand your meaning, Mr. Plunket. In 
England, kites are paper playthings used by boys ; in Ireland 
they seem to mean some species of monetary transaction.' 
' There is another difference, my lord,' said Plunket. 1 In 
England, the wind raises the kites ; in Ireland, the kites raise 
the wind.* 

i 'Curran was once defending an attorney's bill of costs 
before Lord Clare. 1 Here now,' said Clare, ' is a flagitious 
imposition ; how can you defend this item, Mr. Cumin? " To 
writing innumerable letters, £100." ' 'Why, my lord,' said 
Curran, ' nothing can be more reasonable. It is not a ytnny 
a letter.' And Curran's reply to Judge Robinson is exquisite 
in its way. ' I'll commit you, sir,' said the judge. 1 1 hope 
you'll never commit a worse thing, my lord !' retorted Curran. 

" ' Wilson Croker, too,' said Mr. O'Connell, ' had humour. 
When the crier wanted to expel the dwarf O'Leary, who was 
about three feet four inches high, from the jury-box in Tralee, 
Croker said, ' Let him stay where he is — De minimis non curat 
lex* (Law cares not for small things). And when Tom Goold 
got retainers from both sides, ' Keep them both,' said Croker ; 
' you may conscientiously do so. You can be counsel for one 
side, and of use to the other.' 

u Speaking of Judge Day while he was yet alive, O'Connell 
said : ' No man would take more pains to serve a friend ; but 
as a judge they could scarcely have placed a less efficient man 
upon the bench He once said to me at the Cork 


Bar Anecdotes. 

assizes, ' Mr. O'Connell, I must not allow you to make a 
speech ; the fact is, I am always of opinion with the last 
speaker, and therefore I will not let you say one word.' ' My 
lord,' said I, ' that is precisely the reason why I'll let nohody 
have the last word hut myself, if I can help it.' I had the 
last word, and Day charged in favour of my client. Day was 
made judge in 1798. He had been chairman of Kilmainham, 
with a salary of £1,200 a-year. When he got on the bench, 
Bully Egan got the chairmanship. 

" ' Was Bully Egan a good lawyer ?' 

" ' He was a successful one; his bullying helped him 
through. He was a desperate duellist. One of his duels was 
fought with a Mr. O'Reilly, who fired before the word was 
given ; the shot did not take effect. e Well, at any rate, my 
honour is safe,' said O'Reilly. ' Is it so ?' said Egan ; ' egad, 
I'll take a slap at your honour for all that;' and Egan de- 
liberately held his pistol pointed for full five minutes at 
O'Reilly, whom he kept for that period in the agonies of mortal 

" < Did he kill him ?' 

" ' Not he,' replied O'Connell; 'he couldn't hit a hay- 
stack. If courage appertained to duelling, he certainly 
possessed it. But in everything else he was the most timid 
man alive. Once I stated, in the Court of Exchequer, that I 
had, three days before, been in the room with a man in fever 
120 miles off. The instant I said so, Egan shuffled away to 
the opposite side of the court through pure fear of infection. 

" Judge Day was a simpleton, but Judge Boyd was worse — 
he was a drunkard. ' He was so fond of brandy,' said 
O'Connell, ' that he always kept a supply of it in court, upon 
the desk before him, in an ink-stand of peculiar make. His 
lordship used to lean his arm upon the desk, bob down his 
head and steal a hurried sip from time to time through a quill 
that lay among the pens ; which manoeuvre he flattered himself 
escaped observation. 

" One day it was sought by counsel to convict a witness of 

Bar Anecdotes. 


having been intoxicated at the period to which his evidencj 
referred. Mr. Harry Deane Grady laboured hard upon the 
other hand to show that the man had been sober. ' Come now, 
my good man,' said Judge Boyd, ' it is a very important con- 
sideration ; tell the court truly, were you drunk or were yon 
sober upon that occasion ?' 

" ' Oh, quite sober, my lord,' broke in Grady, with a very 
significant look at the ink-stand — ' as sober as a judge.' " 

If O'Connell was addicted to cajoling witnesses, 
he seems to have been equally happy in protecting 
unfledged professionals. We have already given 
one instance of his interference on their behalf. He 
happened to be in court when a young attorney was 
called upon to make an admission which might have 
been injurious to his client. O'Connell at once stood 
up and told him to make no admission. Baron 
M'Cleland, who was trying the case, asked if Mr. 
O'Connell had a brief in the case. Mr. O'Connell 
had no brief, except the very general one, of an 
ardent desire to benefit the whole human race as far 
as it was possible for him to do so. He replied : 

" I have not, my lord ; but I shall have, one when the case 
goes down to the assizes." 

" When I was at the bar, it was not my habit to anticipate 

' ' When you were at the bar, I never chose you for a 
model ; and now that you are on the bench, I shall not submit 
to your dictation." 

" There was a barrister of the name of Parsons at the bar 
in my earlier practice," said O'Connell, " who had a good deal 
of humour. Parsons hated the whole tribe of attorneys ; 
perhaps they had not treated him very well — but his prejudice 
against them was eternally exhibiting itself. One day, in the 


Bar Anecdotes 

hall of the Four Courts, an attorney came up to him to beg his 
subscription towards burying a brother attorney, who had died 
in distressed circumstances. Parsons took out a pound note. 
' Oh, Mr. Parsons,' said the applicant, ' I do not want so much ; 
I only ask a shilling from each contributor.' ( Oh, take it — 
take it,' replied Parsons ; ' I would most willingly subscribe 
money any day to put an attorney under ground.' { But really, 
Mr. Parsons, I have limited myself to a shilling from each 
person.' i For pity's sake, my good sir, take the pound— and 
bury twenty of them.' 

" One of the most curious things I remember in my bar 
experience," said O'Connell, " is Judge Foster's charging for 
the acquittal of a homicide named Denis Halligan, who was 
tried, with four others, at the Limerick assizes many years ago. 
Foster totally mistook the evidence of the principal witness for 
the prosecution. The offence charged was aggravated man- 
slaughter, committed on some poor wretch, whose name I 
forget. The first four prisoners were shown to be criminally 
abetting ; but the fifth, Denis Halligan, was proved to have 
inflicted the fatal blow. The evidence of the principal witness 
against him was given in these words : ' I saw Denis Halligan, 
my lord (he that's in the dock there), take a vacancy 1 at the 
poor soul that's kilt, and give him a wipe with a cleh-alpeen, 2 
and lay him down as quiet as a child.' The judge charged 
against the first four prisoners, and sentenced them to seven 
years' imprisonment each ; then proceeding to the fifth, the 
rascal who really committed the homicide, he addressed hiiu 
thus : ' Denis Halligan, I have purposely reserved the con- 
sideration of your case for the last. Your crime, as being a 
participator in the affray, is doubtless of a grievous nature ; yet 
I cannot avoid taking into consideration the mitigating circum- 
stances that attend it. By the evidence of the witness it 
clearly appears that you were the only one of the party who 
showed any mercy to the unfortunate deceased. You took 

1 Vacancy, an aim at an unguarded part. 2 Cleh-alpeen, a bludgeon. 

Choice of a Wife. 


him to a vacant seat, and you wiped him with a clean napkin, 
and (to use the affecting and poetic language of the witness) 
you laid him down with the gentleness one shows to a little 
child. In consideration of these circumstances, which con- 
siderably mitigate your offence, the only punishment I shall 
inflict on you is an imprisonment of three weeks' duration.' 
So Denis Halligan got off by Foster's mistaking a vacancy for 
a vacant seat, and a cleh-alpecn for a clean napkin." 

O'Connell married in the summer of the year 
1802. His early life had not been in all respects a 
model of virtue, but from this period his habits were 
exemplary. In later years, he was not only attached 
to his religion theoretically, as he had always been, 
but he was also a most edifying and practical 

His bride was a namesake and cousin of his own ; 
and as she was destitute of worldly goods, his uncle 
Maurice, with characteristic prudence, objected to 
the match ; but O'Connell took his own way in this 
as in other matters, and he never regretted his choice, 
lie used to speak of her affectionately, and perhaps 
with a little of the garrulousness of age in later years. 
It would appear to have been entirely a love-match ; 
and the old man used to say, his Mary "gave him 
thirty-five years of the purest happiness that man 
ever enjoyed." 

His profession made him independent. During 
the first year he was at the bar, he made £58 ; the 
second year, £150 ; the 3rd year, £200 ; and the 
fourth, about £300. From which time he advanced 
rapidly, and made as much as £9.000 in one year. 


Fondness for Children. 

Mrs. O'Connell had been educated in Tralee, and he 

used to tell the following anecdote of her childhood : 

<£ When my wife was a little girl, she was obliged to pass, 
on her way to school, every clay, under the arch of the gaol ; 
and Hands, the gaoler of Tralee, a most gruff, uncooth-looking 
fellow, always made her stop and curtsey to him. She des- 
patched the curtsey with all imaginable expedition, and ran 
away to school, to get out of his sight as fast as possible." 

O'Connell took great delight in relating the 
following of his wife's grandmother : 

" It was my delight to quiz the old lady, by pretending to 
complain of her grand- daughter's want of temper. ' Madam/ 
said I, ' Mary would do very well, only she is so cross.' 
' Cross, sir ? My Mary cross ? Sir, you must have provoked 
her very much ! Sir, you must yourself be quite in fault ! 
Sir, my little girl was always the gentlest, sweetest creature 
born.' " l 

O'Connell was very fond of children, and used 
not unfrequently to commence a conversation with 
them by asking them, if they knew that it was he 
who obtained Emancipation for them ? A friend 
once spoke to him about sending his little girl to 
school ; he replied with some warmth : 

" Oh, no ! never take the child from her mother, 
never !" 

The same friend made an apology for bringing in 
his children. 

"'Your time is so limited,' said he; ' and I fear they 
must tease you.' 

" ' Your apology,' returned O'Connell, 'reminds me of my 
friend Peter Hussey, who was not remarkable for suavity. 

1 " Personal Recollections," by Mr. Daunt, vol. ii. p. 185. 



* Dan,' said Peter to me, you should not bring in your children 
after dinner, it is a heavy tax upon the admiration of the 
company.' * Never mind, Peter,' said I ; * I admire them so 
much myself, that I don't require any one to help me.' " 

O'Connell's marriage took place on the 23rd of 
June, 1802. The ceremony was strictly private, but 
two of his brothers were present. It took place in 
Dame Street, Dublin, at the house of Miss O'Connell's 
brother-in-law, Mr. James Connor. The ceremony 
was performed by the Rev. Mr. Finn, then parish 
priest of Irishtown. 

O'Connell still continued a member of the 
Lawyers' Corps, and his life must have been con- 
stantly in danger. When passing St. James Street, 
Dublin, he used to point out a house which he had 
searched in 1803. It was then the Grand Canal 
Hotel. The canals w^ere then to Ireland what the 
railways are now, and at that period travelling by 
water was preferred for many reasons. 

After O'Connell had stood sentry for three suc- 
cessive nights, Mr. Purcell O'Gorman's turn came. 
O'Connell observed that he had been recently ill, 
and saw that exposure to the night air would proba- 
bly kill him : 

" 'I shall he in a sad predicament,' he said, 1 unless yon 
take my turn of duty for me. If I refuse they'll accuse me of 
cowardice or croppyism ; if I mount guard, it will he the death 
of me !' So I took his place, and thus stood guard for six con- 
secutive nights. One night a poor hoy was taken up in Dame 
Street after midnight ; he said in his defence that he was 
going on a message from his master, a notary-public, to give 


The Reign of Terror. 

notice for protest of a bill. The hour seemed a very unlikely 
one for such a purpose, and we searched his person for 
treasonable documents. We found in his waistcoat pocket a 
sheet of paper, on which were rudely scrawled several drawings 
of pikes. He turned pale with fright and trembled all over, 
but persisted in the account he had given us of himself. It 
was easily tested, and a party immediately went to his master's 
house to make inquiry. His master confirmed his statement, 
but the visitors, whose suspicions were excited by the drawing, 
rigidly searched the whole house for pikes — prodded the beds 
to try if there were any concealed in them — found all right, and 
returned to our guard-house about three in the morning." 

The reign of terror in Ireland by no means con- 
cluded with the Rebellion of 1798. Indeed, recent 
risings, or attempts at rising, which took place soon 
after, was a sufficient evidence that no amount of 
severity could put down such attempts, however 
hopeless. Another reminiscence of this period was 
given thus by the Liberator. The subject was a 
schoolmaster, named O'Connor, who was hanged in 
1797, and whose head was left for many years over 
the gaol at Naas : 

" He made, said O'Connell, " a wicked speech in the dock. 
He complained of taxes, and oppressions of various descrip- 
tions, and then said, ' Before the flesh decays from my bones — 
nay, before my body is laid in the earth, the avenger of tyranny 
will come. The French are on the sea while I utter these 
words ; they will soon effect their short and easy voyage, and 
strike terror and dismay into the cruel oppressors of the Irish 
people.' When the prisoner concluded, Judge Finucane com- 
menced his charge, in the course of which he thus attacked 
the politics, predictions, and arguments of the unhappy prisoner : 
' O'Connor, you're a great blockhead for your pains. What 
you say of the French is all nonsense. Don't you know, you 

A Characteristic Reply. 


fool, that Lord Howe knocked their ships to smithereens last 
year ? And therefore, O'Connor, you shall return to the place 
from whence you came, and you shall he delivered into the 
hands of the common executioner, and you shall be hanged by 

the Oh ! I must not forget, there was another point of 

nonsense in your speech. You talked about the tax on leather, 
and said it would make us all go barefoot. Now, O'Connor, 
I've the pleasure to inform you that I have got a large estate in 
Clare, and there is not a tenant upon it that hasn't got as good 
boots and shoes as myself. And, therefore, O'Connor, you 
shall return to the place from whence you came, and you shall 
be delivered into the hands of the common executioner, and 
you shall be hanged by the neck until you are dead, and your 
body shall be divided into quarters ; and may the Lord have 
mercy on your soul.' But O'Connor's reply was characteristic 
— ' If you are kind to your tenants, my lord, may God bless 
you.' " 

Few Irishmen, indeed, except the unhappy infidel 
leaders of the Rebellion, had died with words of 
anger or revenge upon their lips. Their own lives 
they were willing to sacrifice ; they only asked in 
return some little amelioration of the misery of those 
whom they left after them. But these men were 
driven to deeds of desperation " by a tyranny worse 
than that of Robespierre." 1 

1 " The greatest difficulty ^Yhich I experience is to control the 
violence of our loyal friends, who would, if I did not keep the 
strictest hand upon them, convert the system of martial law (which, 
God knows, is of itself bad enough) into a more violent and intoler- 
able tyranny than that of Robespierre. The vilest informers are 
haunted out from the prisons to attack, by the most barefaced per- 
jury, the lives of all who are suspected of being, or of having been, 
disaflected ; and, indeed, every Roman Catholic of influence is in 
great danger. You will have seen by the addresses, both in the 


Servility and Timidity. 

The most important political work of O'Connell's 
early life was his connexion with the Catholic 
Association. His earliest, and some of his most 
brilliant speeches were made in connexion with that 
movement. He was a leader without the name of a 
leader, and with the serious disadvantage of acting 
under men who had neither his disinterestedness, his 
intellect, nor his patriotism. 

In 1793 the forty-shilling freeholders were per- 
mitted to vote, simply because they could swell the 
number of slaves who enhanced the value of the 
borough held by their masters. The few Irish 
Catholic peers were neither allowed voice nor vote 
in electing their representatives. They were still 
timid, hesitating, cautious, thankful for the little they 
had, and terribly afraid of losing it by the least effort 
to obtain more. 

The subjects in dispute between the Catholic 
party and the Government were, with some few 
modifications of circumstances, very much what they 
are now. The Government, having permitted the 
Catholic to educate his children, wished to have the 
control of that education. The same battle is being 
continued, under more liberal destinies, at the present 
day and hour. Protestant statesmen have yet to 

North and South, that my attempt to moderate that violence and 
cruelty which has once driven, and which, if tolerated, must again 
soon drive, this wretched country into rebellion, is not reprobated by 
the voice of the country, although it has appeared so culpable in the 
eyes of the absentees."— Cornivallis' Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 145. 

Learning and the Church. 


learn that the Catholic Church does not change — 
that the principles which she held in the first century 
are precisely the same as those which she holds in 
the nineteenth. Circumstances, of which she alone 
is the judge, may require some alteration in the 
application of these principles, but circumstances do 
not alter the principles themselves. The Church is 
divinely appointed to " teach all nations," and she 
cannot permit her children to receive secular instruc- 
tion if that instruction is given in such a way as to 
interfere with the Divine teaching which belongs 
exclusively to her. She does not indeed depreciate 
or undervalue human learning ; on the contrary, 
even in religious orders, if special gifts are de- 
veloped, these gifts are encouraged and cultivated 
with a care and assiduity of which the world knows 
but little, even while it obtains the benefit of its 
results. 1 

1 We give one or two instances. In science, we would mention 
Father Secchi, the eminent Jesuit, whose fame as an astronomer is 
more than European, whose life is devoted to the science for which 
he has such manifest talent. In the early part of the seventeenth 
century, the " Annals of the Four Masters " were compiled by a 
Franciscan friar ; and this work has been republished, and translated 
in eight octavo volumes, by a Protestant historian, within the last 
few years. His religious superiors, so far from preventing or depre- 
ciating his labours, were the first to forward them. Out of their 
poverty they supplied sufficient funds for his journeys and the 
purchaso of old manuscripts ; while his monastic brothers waited on 
him and aided him in all possible ways, so as to forward and lighten 
his labour. 

Nor has the Church failed to encourage even cloistered nuns in 
literary labour, where there has been a manifest talent for such 


Secularising the Priesthood. 

The Government, or should we not rather say 
the world, has been always desirous of secularising 
the priesthood. Practically, the attempt seems 
abandoned in our own times, because the attempt 
has been found simply hopeless. The priesthood 
are not intended to be secularised, they are intended 
to be a distinct class, they are not intended to ex- 
hibit the manners, or habits, or customs of the world. 
Yet how many, and what futile efforts have been 
made by Government to have seculars and aspirants 
to the priesthood educated together, for the avowed 
purpose of accomplishing the very end which the 
Church does not desire to accomplish. 

All this arises from one simple cause. Protes- 
tants do not believe in a divinely-instituted priest- 
hood, they do not like to see a class of men set apart 
from their fellows, in profession, in habits of life, and 
in exterior being. But such a class has existed since 
the foundation of Christianity, and will exist to the 
end of time. To fight against it, or against the cir- 
cumstances of its being, is hopeless, and being hope- 
less is unwise. 

work. A glance at M. Dupanloup's " Studious Women" will give 
ample evidence of this. Of St. Lisba he writes that St. Boniface 
admired her on account of her solid learning — " ernditionis sapiential 
and that "he took time, which he did not consider lost, from his 
apostolic labours to correct her Latin verses." In the twelfth 
century, St. Hildegarde, a cloistered nun, and a canonised saint, 
astonished her contemporaries by her learned cosmological works ; 
and in the sixteenth century, Eleanore Cornaro was admitted doctor 
at Milan, and died in the odour of sanctity. 

Protestant and Catholic tZfergy. 


Amongst liberal Protestants, who are not irre- 
concilably prejudiced, there is, if I may use the ex- 
pression, a good-natured desire that priests should be 
" more like other people."' But this is precisely 
what priests are not intended to be. Such Protestants 
naturally point to their own clergy, to that inde- 
finable, and therefore indescribable polish which is 
given to them by a university education, to that 
fashionable manner which makes them undistin- 
guishable from other gentlemen, so that their pro- 
fession is only indicated by some trifling difference 
of dress, not sufficient to mark them as a distinct 
class, just sufficient to give a little appearance of dis- 
tinction in position. This they accept as a badge of 
office, in the same way as a lawyer accepts his wig 
or gown ; and they ask, often with the most kindly 
feeling, why Catholic priests cannot play the role of 
fashionable gentlemen also ? The answer is simple ; 
it is because Catholic priests are not intended to be 
in the world, or to be of the world, as Protestant 
clergymen must necessarily be. 

They are men who are to live alone and apart 
from their fellows. They are men vowed neither to 
possess houses nor lands, wife nor child. They are 
men who have solemnly and permanently sacrificed 
all the pleasures of life. Blame them for this if you 
will, but do not blame them for being faithful to 
what they have vowed. 

O'Connell set himself steadfastly against every 
attempt to secularise the Catholic clergy ; and how 



O'Connell and the Hierarchy. 

frequent and how persistent these attempts were, 
history has recorded. He had, as we have said 
before, a peculiar aptitude for taking in the whole 
bearings of a case. He had a rapid power of com- 
prehension. Had he been a soldier, we suspect his 
army would not have been very easily defeated ; for 
he saw in a moment what was weak and required 
strengthening, what was threatened by the enemy, 
no matter how insidiously it might be disguised. 
O' Conn ell had to deal with men whose preceptions 
were by no means so clear as his own, and who were 
incapacitated, to a certain extent, either by posi- 
tion or education, from seeing the dangers which 
threatened them. 

The Catholic laity of the upper classes were only 
anxious to obtain any concession that might be 
offered, and were seldom able to understand that a 
concession might be a disadvantage. The Govern- 
ment, while willing to render certain concessions, 
was unwilling to render them generously. Securities 
were demanded of such a nature as to make the con- 
cession either positively injurious or simply useless. 
The majority of Catholics looked only at the con- 
cession which was good in itself. O'Connell looked 
at the concomitant circumstances, which were some- 
times evil. To the upper classes, who were unable 
to take his large vieiv of public affairs, he opposed 
himself with an energy which sometimes bordered 
on contempt ; but he rarely allowed himself to pass 
the line of decorum. 

The College of Maynooth. 


His position with the Catholic hierarchy was un- 
fortunately very difficult ; but he conducted himself 
in their regard with a tact and respectful delicacy, 
which was so perfect, as to warrant the conclusion 
that it arose more from his deep sense of religion, 
and his firm faith in the hierarchy of the Church, 
than from any worldly policy. 

The two great subjects of discussion were the 
Veto, and the arrangements to be made for the 
College of Maynooth. 

The College of Maynooth was founded originally 
for the priesthood ; but as the English Government 
were extremely anxious that lay students should be 
admitted also, some lay students were admitted. No 
sooner was this accomplished than a dispute arose ; 
one party of Protestants wishing that the number of 
lay students should be increased, and every facility 
afforded for their accommodation, the other party 
declaring that the laity should not be admitted at all. 
With these disputes O'Connell had little connexion. 
We shall, therefore, pass to the consideration of the 
Veto question, after giving a few extracts from the 
private correspondence of the time on the subject 
of Maynooth College. 1 

1 The Earl of Hardwick wrote thus to the Right Hon. Henry 
Addington on the 21st December, 1801 : "It would be very curious 
if, after all that has passed, Lord Clare should be attempting to 
acquire popularity with the Catholics at the expense of the Govern- 
ment. He seems to me, with a great share of cleverness and viva- 
city, to be very deficient in consistency and precision in his ideas ; 


The College of Maynooth. 

There can be no doubt whatever that the object 
of Government in pressing the Veto was to obtain a 
complete control over the Catholic clergy. The 
advance was made with the utmost caution, and the 
attempt was continued from time to time with rare 
prudence. It seems little short of miraculous that 

for at the very moment that he is contending for the policy of a 
mixed education of lay boys with those intended for the priesthood, 
he asserts that it is the fixed system of the priests not to suffer such 
mixed education, and, moreover, cannot deny the greater probability 
of the lay scholars, under priestly discipline and with priestly asso- 
ciates, becoming monastic, than of the clerical pupils acquiring from 
their lay schoolfellows the more liberal habits of those who are not 
secluded from the world. In considering the policy of this measure, 
it may be worthy of observation, that any such establishment neces- 
sarily tends to perpetuate the distinction, which, so far as education 
is concerned, was intended to be done away, by giving an equal 
admission to Catholic and Protestant pupils at Trinity College, 

Minutes of Conversation between the Right Hon. Charles Abbot 
and Lord Kil warden at Cork Abbey, Dec. 25, 1801. 
In the course of this conversation, which lasted above an hour, 
the following points were distinctly stated and re- stated by Lord 
Kilwarden : 

1. The original purpose of the College of Maynooth was to edu- 
cate only priests. The proofs of it are — 1. That it originated in the 
circumstances of the times which had revolutionised the Continent, 
and rendered the former places of educating the Irish priests (viz., 
St. Omer, Paris, &c.) unfit and unsafe, and rendered it desirable to 
educate them at home. 

2. The speech of the Minister (Mr. Pelham), in opening the 
measure to Parliament, pointed only at that object. 

3. Lord K., who was then Attorney-General, and commissioned 
by Mr. Pelham to confer with the Catholics, had no conference but 
with Dr. Troy (titular Archbishop of Dublin) and another priest ; 

The Catholic Church and the Veto. 


the Catholic Church should not have yielded to an 
offer which looked so fair, which was made with 
such an appearance of good will and generosity. 

Undoubtedly, a few of the Irish Catholic bishops 
were deceived for a time — probably, from not seeing 
the real drift of the matter. The English Catholics, 

and when, under Lis general instructions to talk with them, he 
wished them to make the College a joint school for the laity and 
clergy, they would not hear of it, and stated it to be prohibited by 
their own rules. 

[Notes then follow of some remarks made on the manners of the 
students, which were not very complimentary to them.] 

4. As to the abstract policy, Lord K. would advise the Crown 
and Parliament, with a view only to the present rac#, to govern by a 
strong military force, and keep down the Catholics by the bayonet ; 
but with a view to posterity he should wish to educate the Protes- 
tants and Catholics together : and such was the object of opening 
Trinity College to the Catholics. 

5. I told him that now at Trinity College the Provost informed 
me there were many sons of opulent Catholics, and that their num- 
bers of this class increased. 

On the 28th December, 1801, the Earl of Clare wrote a Memo- 
randum on the original institution of Maynooth, from which we give 
the following extract. It shows that the Catholic hierarchy were as 
thoroughly opposed to uniting lay and secular education then as they 
are now : " After a pretty long negotiation with Dr. Troy, to which 
I submitted very reluctantly by Lord Cornwallis's desire, he con- 
sented to receive lay pupils for education according to the original 
intention of the institution, and he consented also to oblige the 
ecclesiastical pupils to contribute in part towards the expense of 
their maintenance and education whilst at college. Both points I 
consider to be essential to palliate the mischiefs of this institution. 
For I fear that the utmost we can do will be to palliate its mischiefs, 
after the strange precipitance and want of forethought which has 


O'Connell on the Veto. 

with, the exception of Dr. Milner, did their best to 

place this chain on the necks of their clergy. 

In the year 1799, the Irish Catholic hierarchy 

passed the following resolution : 

" That, in the appointment of the prelates of the Roman 
Catholic religion to vacant sees within the kingdom, such in- 
terference of Government as may enable it to be satisfied with 
the loyalty of the person appointed, is just, and ought to be 
agreed to." 

On the 4th of July, 1812, O'Connell thus alludes 

to the Veto in one of his most masterly speeches : 

" The opposition to Catholic Emancipation has assumed a 
new shape ; bigotry and intolerance have been put to the blush, 
or covered with ridicule ; everybody laughs at J ack Giffard and 
Paddy Duignan ; and their worthy compeer and colleague in 
England, Sir»William Scott, does no longer venture to meet 
with adverse front the justice of our cause. He may, indeed, 
talk of setting our question at rest ; he may declaim upon the 
moral inferiority of the Irish Catholics ; but let him rest assured 
that, so long as his children — if he has any — so long as the 
swarthy race of his Scotts are placed, by law, on any superiority 
to the Irish Catholics, so long will it be impossible to put the 
question to rest. It never can — it never shall — rest, save in 

hitherto marked every stage of its progress. If the Irish priesthood 
is to be educated at a monastery at Maynooth, secluded from all 
intercourse with laymen, I cannot see what will be gained by re- 
claiming them from the foreign Popish universities. And if none 
but the lowest ranks in the community, who are unable to contribute 
to the expense of their maintenance and education, are received into 
the Irish College, I cannot see any one advantage which can result 
from it. And I can see that it will give a weight of patronage to 
some few Popish ecclesiastics, which they may use as a powerful 
engine to annoy the State." — Grenvilles Correspondence, vol. iii. pp. 

0' Con rt ell on the Veto* 


unqualified, unconditional Emancipation. As to the moral in- 
feriority, I shall not dispute the point with him ; but I trust no 
Catholic judge will ever be found in this country with such an 
accommodating disposition as to decide the precise same ques- 
tion in two different ways, as we are told that learned gentleman 
has done, with the question of 1 paper blockades.' Let him, I 
am sure I consent, direct his sapient opposition, in his present 
prudent course of retarding the discussion of the right and 
justice of our claims, by introducing other topics. The points 
of delay — the resting-places — are obvious; and when the pre- 
sent are exhausted, I rely on the malignity of our oppressors to 
invent new terms for this purpose. 

4 ' First, there was the Veto. That, indeed, was soon put 
down by the imanimous voice of the Catholic people, who, be- 
sides other reasons, really could not see, in the actual selection 
made by the Irish Government of persons to fill the offices 
belonging of right to them, anything to tempt them to confer 
on that Government the nomination of upwards of thirty other 
offices of emolument and honour. If hostility to the Irish 
people be a recognised recommendation to all other employ- 
ments, is it likely that, in one alone, virtue and moral fitness 
should obtain the appointment ? It was too gross and glaring 
■ presumption in an administration, avowing its abhorrence for 
everything Irish, to expect to be allowed to interfere with the 
religious discipline of the Irish Catholic Church. 

; * Driven from any chance of the Veto, our enemies next 
suggested ' the arrangement,' as it was called ; but this half 
measure had but few supporters. It was not sufficiently strong 
for the zealous intolerants ; its advantages were not so obvious 
to the profligate ; it was met by this plain reply — that we knew 
of no real inconvenience that could possibly arise froni the pre- 
sent system of the government of our Church; but if any 
existed, it were fitter to be treated of by the venerable prelates 
of that Church, who understood the subject best, than by 
ministers who wish to turn everything into an engine of state 


"Sanctions and Securities" 

"'The arrangement' was then soon forgotten, and now, 
my lord, we have new terms stated — those are ' sanctions and 
securities.' We are now told we cannot be Emancipated with- 
out ' sanctions and securities.' What are ' sanctions ? ' They 
are calculated, I presume, to do a great deal of mischief, be- 
cause they are quite unintelligible. As to ' securities,' indeed 
I can understand that word ; and I am quite ready to admit 
that securities are necessary ; they are necessary against the 
effects upon a passive, but high-minded people — of continued 
insult and prolonged oppression. They are necessary in a 
sinking state against the domestic disturbances and organised 
disaffection which prevail in England— against the enormous 
and increasing power of the enemy — against dilapidated re- 
sources, expiring commerce, depreciated currency, and accumu- 
lating expenditure— against the folly, the incapacity, the want 
of character of the administration — against all those evils of 
which there is courage to speak — against that domestic insult, 
respecting which it is prudent to be silent— against all these, 
' securities ' are necessary, and they are easy to be found ; they 
are to be found in conciliation and emancipation, their rectitude 
and justice. The brave, the generous, the enthusiastic people 
of Ireland are ready to place themselves in the breach that has 
been made in their country ; they claim the post of honour, 
that is, the post of utmost danger ; they are ready to secure 
the throne and the constitution, and all they require in return 
is, to be recognised as men and human beings in this their 
native land. 

(( Do not, then, I would say to any minister — do not pre- 
sume to insult them, by attempting to treat them as maniacs, 
to be secured only by ropes and chains. Alas ! their only in- 
sanity is their devotion to you. Tell them not that the more 
they are free, the less will they be grateful ; tell them not that 
the less you have to fear from their discontent, the more strictly 
will you bind them. Oppress them if you please ; but hesitate 
before you deem it prudent thus to insult their first, their finest 

Mr. \V. WeUedey Pole. 


With that withering sarcasm of which lie was 
especially a master, he attacked Mr. Wellesley Pole, 
and the " classic" Castlereagh : 

"Haying disposed of ' Veto, arrangement, sanctions, and 
securities,' there remains but one resource for intolerance : the 
classic Castlereagh has struck it out. In consists in — what do 
you think ? Why in 1 hitches.' Yes, k hitches ' is the elegant 
word which is now destined to protract our degradation. It is 
in vain that our advocates have increased ; in vain have our foes 
been converted ; in vain has William Wellesley Pole become 
our warm admirer. Oh, how beautiful he must have looked ad- 
vocating the Catholic cause ! and his conversion, too, has been 
so satisfactory — he has accounted for it upon such philosophic 
principles. Yes, he has gravely informed us that he was all his 
life a man detesting committees ; you might see by him that 
the name of a committee discomposed his nerves, and excited 
his most irritable feelings ; at the sound of a committee he was 
roused to madness. Now, the Catholics had insisted upon 
acting b}' a committee ; the naughty Papists had used nothing 
but profane committees, and, of course, he proclaimed his hos- 
tility. But in proportion as he disliked committees, so did he 
love and approve of aggregate meetings — respectable aggregate 
meetings ! Had there been a chamber at the Castle large 
enough for an aggregate meeting, he would have given it. Who 
does not see that it is quite right to doat upon aggregate meet- 
ings and detest committees by law, logic, philosophy, and 
science of legislation ? All recommend the one and condemn 
the other ; and, at length, the Catholics have had the good 
sense to call their committee a board, to make their aggregate 
meetings more frequent. They, therefore, deserve Emancipa- 
tion ; and, with the blessing of God, he (Mr. Pole) would con- 
fer it on them ! (Laughter and cheers.) 

" But, seriously, let us recollect that Wellesley Pole is the 
brother of one of our most excellent friends — of Marquis 
Wellesley, who had so gloriously exerted himself in our cause — 


The "Hitches." 

who had manfully abandoned one administration because he 
could not procure our liberty, and rejected power under any 
other, unless formed on the basis of Emancipation ; and who 
had, before this hour in which I speak, earned another unfading 
laurel, and the eternal affection of the Irish people, by his 
motion in the House of Lords. The eloquence and zeal and 
high character of that noble marquis, seemed all that Y\ 7 as 
wanting to ensure, at no remote period, our success. He 
knows little of the Irish heart who imagines that his disin- 
terested services will ever be forgotten ; no, they are grayed on 
the soul of Irish gratitude, and will ever live in the memory of 
the finest people on the earth. Lord Castlereagh, too, has 
declared in our favour, with the prudent reserve of ' the 
hitches ;' he is our friend, and has been so these last twenty 
years — our secret friend ; as he says so, upon his honour as a 
gentleman, we are bound to believe him. If it be a merit in 
the minister of a great nation to possess profound discretion, 
this merit Lord Castlereagh possesses in a supereminent degree. 
Why, . he has preserved this secret with the utmost success. 
Who ever suspected that he had such a secret in his keeping ? 
The whole tenor of his life, every action of his, negatived the 
idea of his being our friend ; he spoke against us— he voted 
against us — he wrote and he published against us ; and it 
turns out now that he did all this merely to show how well he 
could keep a secret. Oh, admirable contriver ! oh, most suc- 
cessful placeman ! most discreet and confidential of ministers !" 

He then proceeded to show what the "hitches" 
were : 

" Our legal persecutors, who hunt us with a keenness only 
increased by their disappointment, and rendered more rancorous 
by our prospect of success — good and godly men — are at this 
moment employed in projecting fresh scenes of prosecution. 
Every part of the press that has dared to be free will surely be 
punished, and public spirit and liberality will, in every case that 
can be reached by the arts of state persecution, expiate its 

The Agitators. 


offence in a prison. Believe me, my prophetic fears are not 
vain : I know the managers well, and place no confidence in 
their holy seeming. Again England affords another opportunity 
of extending the 'hitches,' under the pretence of making laws 
to prevent rebellion there ; the administration will suspend the 
1 habeas corpus,' for the purpose of crushing Emancipation here ; 
and thus will illustrate the contrast between the very words 
which it would require twelve simpletons to swear meant the 
same thing. The new laws occasioned by English rioters will 
pass harmless over their heads, and fall only upon you. It 
would be inconsistent if Castlereagh, the worthy successor of 
Clare and John Foster, used any other plan towards Ireland. 
The ' hitches,' the 1 hitches, 1 plainly mean all that can be 
raised of venal outcry against us, and all that can be enacted of 
arbitrary law, to prevent our discussions. 

" Still, still we have resources— we have rich resources in 
those affectionate sentiments of toleration which our Irish 
Protestant brethren have proudly exhibited during the present 
year. The Irish Protestants will not abandon or neglect their 
own work ; it is they who have placed us on our present eleva- 
tion — their support has rendered the common cause of our 
common country triumphant. Our oppressors, yielding an 
unwilling assent to the request of the Protestants of Ireland, 
may compensate themselves by abusing us in common ; they 
may style us agitators — Mr. Canning calls us agitators icith 
ulterior views — but those Protestant agitators are the best 
friends to the security and peace of the country ; and to us, 
Popish agitators, for I own it, my lord, I am an agitator, and 
we solemnly promise to continue so until the period of un- 
qualified Emancipation— until ' the simple repeal ;' as to us, 
agitators amongst the Catholics, we are become too much 
accustomed to calumny to be terrified at it ; but how have we 
deserved reproach and obloquy? How have we merited 
calumny ? Of myself, my lord, I shall say nothing — I possess 
no talents for the office ; but no man shall prevent the assertion 
of my rigid honesty. I am, it is true, the lowliest of the 


The Agitators. 

agitators, but there are, amongst them, men of first-rate talents, 
and of ample fortunes, men of the most ancient families and of 
hereditary worth, men of public spirit and of private virtue, and, 
above all, men of persevering, undaunted, and unextinguishable 
love of their country, of their poor, degraded, insulted country — 
to that country, will I say of all the agitators, with the excep- 
tion of my humble self : 

" ' Boast, Erin, boast them tameless, frank, and free.' 

" Out of the hands of those agitators, however, the Govern- 
ment is desirable to take the people, and the Government is 
right. Out of the sphere of your influence, my lord, the people 
can never be taken, for reasons which, because you are present, 
I shall not mention, but which are recognised by the hearts of 
the Irish nation. (Loud cheering.) But out of our hands the 
people may easily be taken. They are bound to us only by the 
ties of mutual sympathies. We are the mere straws which are 
borne upon the torrent of public wrongs and public griefs. 
Restore their rights to the people, conciliate the Irish nation — 
which is ready to meet you more than halfway — and the power 
of the agitators is gone in an instant. I do certainly feel the 
alarm expressed at the agitation of the question of Catholic 
rights as a high compliment ; it clearly points out the course 
we ought to pursue. Let us rouse the Irish people, from one 
extreme to the other of the island, in this constitutional cause. 
Let the Catholic combine with the Protestant, and the Protes- 
tant with the Catholic, and one generous exertion sets every 
angry feeling at rest, and banishes for ever dissension and 
division. The temptation to invasion will be taken away from 
the foreign enemy ; the pretext and the means of internal com- 
motion will be snatched from the domestic foe ; our country, 
combined in one great phalanx, will defy every assault ; and we 
shall have the happiness of obtaining real security by that 
course of conciliation which deserves the approbation of every 
sound judgment, and must ensure the applause of every feeling- 
heart — we shall confer an honour on ourselves and ensure the 
safety of our country." 

-1 Cure for Agitation. 


O'Connell has been called an M Agitator" in re- 
proach ; we see here why he was an agitator on 
principle. Long before he began his career of public 
agitation, he showed the English Government how it 
could be prevented, or rather how it could be 
rendered unnecessary. " Restore their rights to the 
people, conciliate the Irish nation, which is ready to 
meet you more than half-way, and the power of the 
agitator is gone in an instant." Had O'Connell's 
advice been taken in the year IN 12, we should not 
have heard of Fenianism in the year 1868. If 
England would not oblige the Irish nation to agitate, 
by making agitation virtually a necessary preliminary 
to any instalment of justice, there would be more 
peace at this side of the Channel, and not less pros- 
perity at the other. 

In 180-4 the Catholics met in Dublin to concert 
measures for obtaining the long-promised justice of 
Emancipation. They met in private at the house of 
Mr. Ryan, and their proceedings were not made 
public, as the Habeas Corpus Act was in force. 
Another meeting was held in 1805, when Lord Fitz- 
william, Sir Thomas French, Sir Edward Belle w, 
Denis Scully, and R. R. Ryan, were appointed to 
present to Mr. Pitt the petition to Parliament which 
they had agreed on. 

The petition was cautiously worded, with a 
terrible fear of giving offence, since the Catholics 
were long accustomed to the assurance that either 
the matter or the manner was in fault, if they desired 


Give me Justice. 

to express their ' claims. It was O'Connell who first 
taught them a wiser and more manly way. He bid 
them ask for justice as justice. Until now, justice to 
a Catholic was taken to be a favour which might or 
might not be granted, or for which, if granted, the 
recipient should be perfectly grateful ; for which, if 
refused, he should meekly acquiesce. To refuse 
justice might seem unjust ; the refusal of a favour 
could not be looked on in the same light. 

Until now the Catholics had said, in trembling 
accents, I pray of you to grant me this favour, permit 
me to worship my God according to the dictates of 
my conscience, allow me to educate my children, 
grant me the ordinary rights of a citizen. 

But O'Connell thundered out, Give me justice, I 
ask no more — I shall not be satisfied with less. No 
wonder that those who were unwilling to do justice 
hated the man who demanded it. 

The Catholic .had hitherto spoken in cautious 
language, with measured accent, in humble tones, 
and with words of deprecation. 

O'Connell flung his words hither and thither like 
a Norse giant playing with Scandinavian rocks. If 
they hit hard sometimes, it was because his aim was 
true. If the blows were rude, it was because he did 
not stop to select his missiles very carefully. If 
O'Connell had not been an Irishman, and had not 
been a Catholic — if instead of a little coarseness he 
had possessed a little Cromwellian brutality — men 
like Carlyle would have flung him up into a nitch of 

A Hero of the True Type. 


fame, would have honoured him as a hero, who not 
only hated shams but demolished them. 

His was no one-sided love of justice. His was 
no affected cry to humour men who persecuted one 
class of their fellow-creatures, while they cried out 
for justice to another ; his justice was universal. No 
man has ever dared accuse O'Connell of intolerance, 
except to intolerant individuals. No class was ever 
insulted by his eloquence ; no creed was ever vexed. 
He cried out alike for the slave in America, and the 
yet more cruelly treated serf in British India. If he 
demanded justice to Ireland, lie also demanded 
justice for all other peoples ; and one of his most 
thrilling appeals to man to exercise, in his measure, 
this great attribute of God, was made at a meeting of 
the British India Society, where Lord Brougham 
took the chair, and where O'Connell commenced his 
speech by exclaiming, U I am here to claim justice 
for India." 

The meetings of the Catholics in Dublin began to 
be regularly reported from the year 1808. On the 
19th of January, they held a meeting for the purpose 
of submitting certain resolutions, as well as to con- 
sider the propriety of presenting a petition to the 
Imperial Parliament, praying the removal of the dis- 
abilities under which the body had so long and so 
patiently laboured. 

The Earl of Fingal was in the chair, and the pr< >- 
ceedings were opened by Count Dalton, who, after 
alluding to the accidental absence of Lord Gormans- 


Movement among the Catholics. 

town, moved a resolution, expressing anxiety to 
petition Parliament for a repeal of the Penal Laws, 
and declaring that to be the " critical juncture when 
such a petition ought, without delay, to be trans- 

John Byrne, Esq., of Mullinahack, seconded the 
motion, and deprecated divisions amongst Catholics. 

An amusing instance of the way in which Catholic 
divisions arose occurred now. Mr. O'Connor, though 
u forcibly impressed" with the " propriety and neces- 
sity for petitioning," was nevertheless terribly afraid 
of doing it, and begged the meeting to wait until 
Providence should interfere in their behalf. He 
forgot that Providence helps those who help them- 

O'Connell replied : 

"Nothing but disunion among themselves could ever re- 
tard the Catholic cause. Division, while it rendered them the 
object of disgust to their friends, would make them the scorn 
and ridicule of their enemies. He was ready to admit that the 
present administration were personal enemies of the Catholic 
cause ; yet if the Catholics continue loyal, firm, and undivided, 
they had little to fear from the barren petulence of the ex- 
advocate, Perceval, or the frothy declamation of the poetaster, 
Canning. They might meet with equal contempt the upstart 
pride of Jenkinson, and with more than contempt the pompous 
inanity of that Lord Castlereagh who might well be permitted 
to hate the country that gave him birth, to her own annihila- 
tion. He was also free to confess that he knew of no statute 
passed since the Union which had for its object to increase the 
trade or advance the liberties of Ireland ; but he thought it im- 
possible, if the Catholics persevered, with undivided efforts, in 
their loyal and dutiful pursuit of Emancipation, that any admini- 

Resolution to Petition. 


stration could be found sufficiently daring in guilt to stand 
between them and the throne of their father and sovereign, and 
most calumniously and falsely use his name to raise obstacles 
in the way of good subjects seeking to become free citizens. 
He did, therefore, conjure the gentlemen to give up their 
opposition ; he respected their talents, and however convinced 
of their mistake, could not doubt the purity of their motives. 
They must see that their arguments against the resolution 
were confined to the ridiculous opposition, in fact, against the 
noble lord for his haying condescended to ask advice before he 
acted ; and to the equally frivolous difficulty objected to, the 
form of the notice for calling the meeting. Was it possible 
that rational beings should govern their conduct by such argu- 
ments in the serious pursuit of freedom ? They were sons, 
and might dearly love the parents who gave them birth — let 
them recollect that it was fur their rights that the petition was 
framed ; they were brothers, and should, if they felt the 
endearing impulses of fraternal affection, sacrifice party, and of 
course mere forms and ceremonies, in a struggle for obtaining 
the rights of their brethren : they were parents, and all the 
sweet charities of life combined in favour of the children who 
looked up to them for protection. It was the liberties of those 
children the present petition sought — would they postpone for 
an hour that sacred blessing ? Could they, from any motive, 
thwart the progress of those who sought it ? He knew that 
was impossible, and he hoped, therefore, there would be no 

The result was the withdrawal of the amend- 
ment, and the unanimous carrying of a resolution 
to petition. 

On the 23rd February 1810, the following letter 
appeared in the Freeman s Journal : 

" To the Editor of the 1 Freeman's Journal.' 
" Sir — I am directed by the Catholic Committee to inform 
you that the statement contained in a morning paper of this 



Social Effects of the Union. 

day, respecting their proceedings, is extremely inaccurate and 
erroneous in many important particulars, more especially as far 
as relates to the Veto. That question was not fixed for dis- 
cussion, nor was there any determination whatsoever on the 

"I am also directed to request that you will publish this 
letter, as the committee consider that such statement, if uncon- 
tradicted, may be productive of mischief. I am, Sir, your 
obedient servant, 

" Daniel O'Connell, Acting Sec. 

"Crow Street, 22nd February, 1810." 

On the 4th May, 1810, there was a meeting of the 
Dublin Corporation to arrange for a general meeting 
on a large scale, the object being to petition for the 
Repeal of the Union. 

The social effects of that measure were beginning 
to be deeply felt. Trade was failing, shops were 
closing, the once busy streets were almost deserted. 
There was no business done in Westmoreland Street, 
and there were no " fashionables" promenading in 
Grafton Street. How could there be, when fashion 
had fled to the seat of fashion, and trade had failed 
because there was no capital to support it, and no 
aristocracy to encourage it ? 1 

1 The following extract from the speech made by Mr. Willis fills 
up the melancholy details: 11 Mr. Willis said he rose under much 
difficult}'', from the irisiduous and malignant attacks on his character 
which the House had just listened to. He hoped it would not pre- 
judice them against the motion he would now submit to them on 
the measure of the Union — a motion so interesting to every Irish- 
man, that it stood in need of little apology. He had no doubt but 
Dr. Whitelaw's pamphlet would be again introduced, to show the 
prosperity of this city ; but he would oppose to that the general and 

Social Effects of the Union. 


The statement that " four-fifths of the legislature 
knew very little of the country except by misrepre- 
sentation," was only too true ; and, unfortunately 
any attempt to remove this ignorance was useless. 

The Common Council resolved on a petition, in 
which they declared that the Union " had not in- 
creased their prosperity, comfort, or happiness," and 
stated, which could not be contradicted, that Ireland 
had " suffered extremely in trade and commerce," 
which was patent to all ; and, moreover, that Ireland 
had not improved in u civilisation" or u manners" 
from intercourse with England, neither had the 
u discord of religious sects been extinguished." 

The petitioners asked, as Irishmen will ask and 
continue to ask, for equal laws, for the administration 
of justice which should be justice. They might as 
well have addressed themselves to the North Wind. 

overwhelming bankruptcy with which this unfortunate country was 
inundated. He asked why Westmorelaud Street, Grafton Street, 
and every other trading part of this city, exhibited such distress — 
why so many houses and shops were shut ? It is because the men 
of property, the fashion of the country, were inveigled away by this 
measure to spend their property in another land. He considered a 
union of the Government absolutely necessary to support our 
glorious constitution, and the connexion between the sister islands 
to render the executive strong and powerful, to enable it to bring 
into action the whole strength of the empire ; but a union of legis- 
latures he considered in a very different point of view. A non- 
resident legislature, four-fifths of which knew little of this ill-fated 
country but by misrepresentation, be they ever so well inclined to 
serve us, are liable to imposition, practised by interested or design- 
ing men. This had been the case in the Coal Act, the Paving Act, 
the Insurrection Act, and many others." 


Mr. M'Kenzie said he was obliged, being instructed by his 
corporation, to vote for a petition. He conceived his instruc- 
tions did not go to support such a petition as the one now read ; 
the language was improper — it could not be otherwise, coming 
as it did." 

Mr. Paterson thought the petition "presumptuous," 
and Mr. Craven said the Catholics, without whom 
the Union would never have been carried, were 
" duped." There is not the slightest doubt that the 
Union would have been carried without the Catholics, 
at the cost of another rebellion ; but the promoters 
of the plan of Union preferred carrying it quietly — 
so they duped the Catholics, which was easier if less 

On the 8th August 1810, 1 the grand jurors of the 
city, " viewing the distressed and deplorable state" of 
the Dublin manufactures, and the "great gloom and 
misery" of their "unfortunate" country, requested the 
high sheriffs to call a meeting to petition for a Repeal 
of the Union. This requisition was signed by 150 
jurymen. A meeting was held at the Royal Ex- 
change on the 18th September 1810, and Sir James 
Riddell, the High Sheriff, took the chair. The 
middle upper class were all eager for Repeal of the 
Union ; the upper class lived principally in England, 
and so that they got their rents did not trouble them- 
selves about the state of the country. If an agitation 
was threatened, or a tithe-proctor carded, they called 
out for martial law; they knew nothing of, and cared 

1 See files of the Freeman* Journal for the year 1810. 

The Xaiion and Repeal. 


nothing for the unhappy people whose hist farthing 
was wrung from them before they attempted to 
avenge themselves. 

It has been generally believed, or taken as an 
accepted fact, that Irishmen acquiesced generally in 
the Union, that the agitation in O'Connell's later 
years, and at the present day, for repeal, or a federal 
government, is the work of a few designing politicians. 
This opinion or belief is one of the many evil results 
of English ignorance of Irish history. It is true 
that, for a year or so after the passing of the Union, 
Ireland lay as one stunned by a heavy and unex- 
pected blow ; but she soon recovered herself, and 
her first act was to protest both against the blow and 
the manner in which the blow was given. A glance 
over the files of Irish newspapers, from the year 1808 
to the present day. will give ample evidence of the 
truth of this assertion. 1 

1 The following extract from the Dublin Evening Post of 2Cth 
March 1808, is an evidence of the opinion advanced above : 

" Repeal of the Union. — The corporation of skinners and 
glovers have the honour of being the first to come forward to express 
their sentiments on the policy and necessity which exists for a 
Repeal of the Act of Union. These worthy and spirited citizens 
met yesterday, when they entered into resolutions which will be 
found in another column. Other corporations are preparing to 
follow up with spirit the example of the skinners and glovers. They 
will not be deterred by the assertion that the effort is useless. They 
recollect, that although it was proposed in the Irish House of Com- 
mons, that the petition from Belfast for the repeal of Poyning's law 
should be burned by the hangman in College Green, yet, in less than 
seven years after, the law was repealed : they will also recollect that 
Lucas was exiled for supporting those principles, which afterwards 
procured G rattan the thanks of his country and a vote of £50,000." 


" The Experience of Ten Years." 

We shall give a few extracts from the speeches at 
this aggregate meeting as an evidence of the public 
opinion of the day. 

Mr. Hutton, who moved the first motion, said : 

" Sir, We have now had the experience of ten years since 
the passing of the Act of Union, and let me ask had the Irish 
manufactures had a fair competition in the British markets ? 
Have the manufactures of Ireland been protected and en- 
couraged, or have those of Dublin flourished, as we were 
promised ? Let me ask, have the poor of the land had their 
education properly attended to ? Every man that is a well- 
wisher to the prosperity of Ireland will answer me in the 
negative. Have the Roman Catholics met with any acknowledg- 
ment of the justice of their claims ? If they have, let any man 
who now hears me stand forward and avow it. On the contrary, 
the Catholics, in their rights, ever since the passing of the Act 
of Union, have stood, and do stand at present, just where they 
began. They have endeavoured to get their claims acknow- 
ledged and acquiesced in ; but are they not at this instant pre- 
cluded from holding any superior rank in the army ? I do not, 
sir, speak of administration, but I contend that the welfare and 
prosperity of Ireland depend upon the Eepeal of the Act of 

Mr. O'Connell said : 
The Union was, therefore, a manifest injustice — and it 
continues to be unjust to this day ; it was a crime, and must 
be still criminal, unless it shall be ludicrously pretended that 
crime, like wine, improves by old age, and that time mollifies 
injustice into innocence. 

Alas ! England, that ought to have been to us as a sister 
and a friend — England, whom we had loved, and fought and 
bled for — England, whom we have protected, and whom we do 
protect — England, at a period, when out of 100,000 of the 
seamen in her service, 70,000 were Irish— -England stole upon 

How the Union was carried. 


us like a thief in the night, and robbed us of the precious gem 
of oar Liberty ; she stole from us ' that in which nought en- 
riched her, but made us poor indeed.' Reflect, then, my fiiends, 
on the means employed to accomplish this disastrous measure. 
I do not speak of the meaner instruments of bribery and corrup- 
tion—we all know that everything was put to sale — nothing 
profane or sacred was omitted in the Union mart— offices in 
the revenue, commands in the army and navy, the sacred 
ermine of justice, and the holy altars of God were all profaned 
and polluted as the rewards of Union services. By a vote in 
favour of the Union, ignorance, incapacity, and profligacy 
obtained certain promotion— and our ill-fated but beloved 
country was degraded to her utmost limits, before she was 
transfixed in slavery. But I do not intend to detain you in 
the contemplation of those vulgar means of parliamentary 
success — they are within the daily routine of onicial mundr/c- 
ment: neither will I direct your attention to the frightful 
recollection of that avowed fact, which is now part of history, 
that the Rebellion itself was fomented and encouraged in order 
to facilitate the Union. Even the Rebellion was an accidental 
and a secondary cause — the real cause of the Union lay deeper, 
but it was quite obvious. It is to be found at once in the 
religions dissentions which the enemies of Ireland have created 
and continued, and seek to perpetuate amongst ourselves by 
telling us of, and separating us into wretched sections and 
miserable subdivisions ; they separated the Protestant from the 
Catholic, and the Presbyterian from both ; they revived every 
antiquated cause of domestic animosity, and they invented new 
pretexts of rancour ; but above all, my countrymen, they belied 
and calumniated us to each other — they falsely declared that 
we hated each other, and they continued to repeat the assertion, 
until we came to believe it ; they succeeded in producing all 
the madness of party and religious distinctions ; and whilst we 
were lost in the stupor of insanity, they plundered us of our 
country, and left us to recover at our leisure from the horrid 
delusion into which we had been so artfully conducted. 


" The Thing is a Mockery: 1 

" Such, then, were the means by which the Union was effec- 
tuated. It has stript us of commerce and wealth ; it has de- 
graded us, and deprived us not only of our station as a nation 
but even of the name of our country : we are governed by 
foreigners — foreigners make our laws. Were the one hundred 
members who nominally represent Ireland in what is called 
the Imperial Parliament — were they really our representatives, 
what influence could they, although unbonght and unanimous, 
have over the five hundred and fifty-eight English and Scotch 
members ? But what is the fact ? Why, that out of the one 
hundred, such as they are, that sit for this country, more than 
one-fifth know nothing of us, and are unknown to us. What, 
for example, do we know about Andrew Strahan, printer to the 
king ? What can Henry Martin, barrister-at-law, care for the 
rights or liberties of Irishmen ? Some of us may, perhaps, for 
our misfortunes, have been compelled to read a verbose pamphlet 
of James Stephens ; but who knows anything of one Crile, one 
Hughan, one Cackin, or of a dozen more whose names I could 
mention only because I have discovered them for the purpose 
of speaking to you about them ; what sympathy can we, in our 
sufferings, expect from those men ? What solicitude for our 
interests ? What are they to Ireland, or Ireland to them ? 
No, Mr. Sheriff, we are not represented — we have no effectual 
share in the legislation — the thing is a mere mockery ; neither 
is the Imperial Parliament competent to legislate for us — it is 
too unwieldy a machine to legislate with discernment for 
England alone ; but with respect to Ireland, it has all the 
additional inconvenience that arises from want of interest and 
total ignorance. Sir, when I talk of the utter ignorance, in 
Irish affairs, of the members of the Imperial Parliament, I do 
not exaggerate or mistake ; the ministers themselves are in 
absolute darkness with respect to this country. I undertake to 
demonstrate it. Sir, they have presumed to speak of the 
growing prosperity of Ireland. I know them to be vile and 
profligate — I cannot be suspected of flattering them — yet, vile 
as they are, I do not believe they could have had the audacity 

'"Old Ireland" for ever! 


to insert in the speech, supposed to be spoken by his Majesty, 
that expression, had they known that, in fact, Ireland was in 
abject and increasing poverty." 

Then lie appealed to his audience on the subject 

of religious intolerance, a subject which he lost no 

opportunity of bringing forward : 

" Who, in 1795, thought a Union possible ? Pitt dared to 
attempt it, and he succeeded ; it only requires the resolution to 
attempt its repeal ; in fact, it requires only to entertain the 
hope of repealing it, to make it impossible that the Union should 
continue ; but that pleasing hope could never exist whilst the 
infernal dissensions on the score of religion were kept up. The 
Protestant alone could not expect to liberate his country, the 
Roman Catholic alone could not do it, neither could the Presby- 
terian ; but amalgamate the three into the Irishman — and the 
Union is repealed. Learn discretion from your enemies ; they 
have crushed your country by fomenting religious discord ; serve 
her — by abandoning it for ever. Let each man give up his 
share of the mischief, let each man forsake every feeling of 
rancour. But, I say not this to barter with you, my country- 
men ; I require no equivalent from you ; whatever course you 
shall take, my mind is fixed ; I trample underfoot the Catholic 
claims if they can interfere with the Piepeal ; I abandon all wish 
for Emancipation, if it delays that Repeal. Nay ; were Mr. 
Perceval, to-morrow, to offer me the Piepeal of the Union upon 
the terms of re-enacting the entire penal code, I declare it from 
my heart, and in the presence of my God, that I would most 
cheerfully embrace his offer. Let us then, my beloved country- 
men, sacrifice our wicked and groundless animosities on the 
altar of our country ; let that spirit which, heretofore emanating 
from Dungannon, spread all over the island and gave light and 
liberty to the land, be again cherished amongst us ; let us rally 
round the standard of Old Ireland, and we shall easily procure 
that greatest of political blessings — an Irish King, an Irish 
House of Lords, and an Irish House of Commons." 


Petition for Repeal. 

The close of O'Connell's speech was greeted by 
long and continued applause, but the High Sheriff 
was nervous. O'Connell had used the words " Irish 
King, 77 and no one could tell what construction might 
be put on the expression ; therefore, O'Connell was 
obliged to explain himself, and to make a special 
declaration of loyalty. 

A declaration and a petition were drawn up this 
year. The declaration was on the vexed subject of 
the Veto, the petition was for Repeal. 

O'Connell drew up the petition, which ran thus : 

DOM of Great Britain and Ireland, in Parliament 


"We, whose names are hereunto subscribed, on behalf of 
ourselves and of others, his Majesty's subjects professing the 
.Roman Catholic religion in Ireland, humbly beg leave to repre- 
sent to this honourable House : 

" That we, your petitioners, did, in the years 1805 and 1808, 
humbly petition this honourable House, praying the total aboli- 
tion of the penal laws, which aggrieve the Catholics of Ireland. 

" We now feel ourselves obliged, in justice to ourselves, our 
families, and our country, once more to solicit the attention of 
this honourable House to the subject of our said petition* 

"We state, that the Eoman Catholics constitute the most 
numerous and increasing portion of the inhabitants of Ireland, 
comprising an immense majority of the manufacturing, trading, 
and agricultural interests, and amounting to, at least, four-fifths 
of the Irish population ; that they contribute largely to the exi- 
gencies of their country, civil and military ; that they pay the 
far greater part of the public and local taxes ; that they supply 
the armies and navies of this empire with upwards of one-third 

Petition for Repeal. 


part in number of the soldiers and sailors employed in the public 
service ; and that, notwithstanding heavy discouragements, they 
form the principal constituent part of the strength, wealth, and 
industry of Ireland. 

" Yet such is the grievous operation of the penal laws of 
which we complain, that the lloman Catholics are thereby not 
only set apart from their fellow-subjects as aliens in their native 
land, but are ignominiously and rigorously proscribed from 
almost all situations of public trust, honour, or emolument, in- 
cluding every public function and department, from the Houses 
of legislature down to the most petty corporations. 

" We state, that whenever the labour of public duty is to be 
exacted and enforced, the Catholic is sought out and selected ; 
where honours or rewards are to be dispensed— he is neglected 
and contemned. 

" Where the military and naval strength of the empire is to 
bo recruited, the Catholics are eagerly solicited, nay compelled, 
to bear at least their full share in the perils of warfare, and in 
the lowest ranks ; bat when preferment or promotion (the dear 
and legitimate prize of successful valour) are to be distributed 
as rewards of merit, no laurels are destined to grace a Catholic's 
brow, or fit the wearer for command. 

" We state, thus generally, the grievous condition of the 
Roman Catholics of Ireland, occasioned solely hy the fatal in- 
fluence and operation of the penal laws ; and though we forbear 
to enter into greater detail, yet we do not the less trust to the 
influence of reason and justice (which eventually must prevail) 
for effecting a full and deliberate inquiry into our grievances, 
and accomplishing our effectual relief. 

" We do beg leave, however, most solemnly, to press upon 
the attention of this honourable House, the imminent public 
dangers which necessarily result from so inverted an order of 
things, and so vicious and unnatural a system of legislation — a 
system which has long been the reproach of this nation, and is 
unparalleled throughout modern Christendom. 

" And we state it as our fixed opinion, that, to restore to 


Resolutions of Catholic Bishops. 

the Catholics of Ireland a fall, equal, and unqualified participa- 
tion of the benefits of the laws and constitution of England, and 
to withdraw all the privations, restrictions, and vexatious dis- 
tinctions which oppress, injure, and afflict them in their country, 
is now become a measure not merely expedient, but absolutely 
necessary — not only a debt of right due to a complaining peo- 
ple, but perhaps the last remaining resource of this empire, in 
the preservation of which we take so deep an interest. 

" We therefore pray this honourable House to take into 
their most serious consideration the nature, extent, and opera- 
tion of the aforesaid penal laws, and, by repealing the same 
altogether, to restore to the Roman Catholics of Ireland those 
liberties so long withheld, and their due share in that Constitu- 
tion, which they, in common with their fellow- subjects of every 
other description, contribute by taxes, arms, and industry to 
sustain and defend. 

" And your petitioners will ever pray." 

On the 24th of February, 1810, the Catholic 
bishops met in Dublin, and drew up the following 
resolutions : 

" Resolved — 1 That it is the undoubted and exclusive right 
of Roman Catholic bishops to discuss and decide on all matters 
appertaining to the doctrine and discipline of the Roman Catho- 
lic Church.' 

"Resolved — 'That we. do hereby confirm and declare our 
unaltered adherence to the resolutions unanimously entered into 
at our last general meeting, on the 14th September, 1806.' 

" Resolved — ' That we are convinced that the oath of alle- 
giance framed and proposed by the legislature itself, and taken 
by us, is not only adequate security for our loyalty, but that we 
know of no stronger pledge that we can possibly give.' 

" Resolved — ' That having disclaimed upon oath all right in 
the Pope, or any other foreign potentate, to interfere in the 
temporal concerns of the kingdom, an adherence to the practice 
observed in the appointment of Irish Roman Catholic bishops 

The Irish CatJiolic Hierarchy. 


cannot tend to produce an undue or mischievous exercise of any 
foreign influence whatsoever.' 

"Resolved — 'That we neither seek nor desire any other 
earthly consideration for our spiritual ministry to our respective 
llocks, save what they may, from a sense of religion and duty 
voluntarily afford us.' 

"Resolved — 'That an address, explanatory of these our 
sentiments, be prepared and directed to the Roman Catholic 
clergy and laity of Ireland, and conveying such further instruc- 
tions as existing circumstances may seem to require.' " 1 

The Irish Catholic hierarchy, with a trusting con- 
fidence which was honourable to them, however 
misplaced, had long believed that to protest and 
solemnly declare their loyalty would insure a belief 
in it. They had at last begun to learn that men who 
did not believe their word would be equally un- 
willing to believe their oath. They had learned that 
a dignified statement of loyalty, or of their inten- 
tions, was the best policy. They began to see that all 
these demands for securities were mere excuses — 
the excuses of those who wished to evade granting 
justice ; first by asking securities against dangers 

1 As the Veto question is only mentioned incidentally in O'Con- 
nell's history, we shall not enter into this subject. It is one which 
would merit careful consideration, but such consideration would 
require more space than can be given to it in the present work. 

It is sufficient to observe that, though a few of the Irish bishops 
were at first disposed to favour it, they opposed it eventually with a 
steady resolution, which saved the Catholic Church in this country, 
and in Great Britain, from a danger which was not the less to be 
apprehended because it was deeply insiduous. Dr. Lanigan, the 
great Irish ecclesiastical historian, was one of the most energetic and 
successful oppo.sers of this scheme, 


Letter of the Bishop of Meath. 

which existed only in their own imagination; then by 
refusing the securities, no matter what solemn pledges 
might be made of their authenticity. 

That the one object of the Veto was to wean the 
Catholic clergy from the Holy See, is plainly evident 
from the private correspondence of the time. The 
great complaint against the Irish priesthood was its 
devotion to Rome. The Yeto was to undermine 
their loyalty, and was to secure devotion to English 
interests as a substitution for devotion to the Chair of 
Peter. Of course, something should be offered in 
return, and Emancipation was proposed. It is to be 
feared that, if the Yeto had been agreed upon, 
Emancipation would have been refused. 1 

The Protestant Bishop of Meath wrote on this 
subject to Lord Castlereagh in November, 1800. A 
few extracts from this letter will show the objects 
avowedly contemplated : 

" First, The Catholic clergy were to be made more inde- 
pendent of the people, and the bishops were to be brought into 
contact with the Government. — • So early as the year 1782, I 
entertained the idea of the policy and necessity of making an 
established provision for the Roman Catholic clergy, that would 
make them independent of their people. I necessarily connected 
this measure with that of bringing their bishops more in contact 
with the Government, and giving the Castle an interference and 
influence in their appointment.' 

" Secondly, Care was to be taken, and a plan arranged, with 

1 The English Government, who had the nomination of the 
bishops for the Protestant Church in Ireland, took care that their 
nominees should be all English. 

Letter of the Bishop of Meath 

what would have been called Jesuitical skill and duplicity, and 
the plan emanated from a Catholic bishop, that the priest should 
be so educated as to be made as English as possible not only 
in politics but in religion. — 'In France. Spain, and the Low 
Countries, the superiors of the different seminaries for the Eng- 
lish, Scotch, and Irish Missions, as they expressed it, were 
always natives of those kingdoms ; but they were persons ex- 
actly of the description which Government must ever consider 
as disqualified for such situations — persons exclusively devoted 
to the See of Rome, educated in all the principles, and therefore 
certain to inculcate and teach all the principles, that militate 
most against the civil authority in every country, and parti- 
cularly tainted with all the prejudices against our establishment 
and our constitution, which an education in countries hostile to 
both cannot fail to inspire.' 

u Thirdly, No priest was to be allowed to officiate in Ireland 
unless he was educated at Maynooth under Government control 
and supervision ; for those educated in foreign seminaries would 
be more Roman, and the * foreign priest would not fail to re- 
proach the Maynooth priest as half a heretic, as a Government 
instead of a Roman priest ! ' 1 

"Fourthly, The doctrines taught at Maynooth were to be 
such as the English Government shall approve. The legislators 
of the day were quite indifferent to points of doctrine ; the Pro- 
testant parson or the Catholic priest might teach what they 
pleased on such subjects ; but Caesar's interests were to bo 
looked after very carefully. They were ordered to be the first 
object; for the rest it mattered little." 

The Protestant Bishop of Meatli had very distinct 
and very practical ideas on this subject. He was by- 
no means unjust or unfair to the Catholic clergy ; 
he would allow them to teach what they pleased, so 
long as they taught submission to the Government. 

1 Castlereagh Correspondence , vol. iii. 


A Significant Parallel. 

He seems to have been an honest, honourable man 
with one idea. Why could not these men do as he 
did ? why could not these men teach as he taught ? 
The king or Government, as the case might be, was 
the head of his Church, and the ultimate source of 
his doctrine. Those men who would not act as he 
did, were either stupid or perverse, in which case he 
pitied them ; but he was beyond his age in liberality, 
and he would not persecute or suggest persecution. 1 

On the 5th January, 1811, a meeting was held for 
the purpose of " appointing proper persons in aid of 
the Earl of Fingal, for the charge of the petition to 

O'Connell, practical as usual, informed the com- 
mittee that considerable progress had been made in 
the investigation of the existing penal laws, and the 
oppressive consequences resulting therefrom. As 

1 " Great precautions should be taken against any doctrines 
being taught in the College that might militate against or under- 
mine the establishment, or the constitution and government of the 

The doctrine taught by the Catholic clergy did not concern the 
Protestant bishop, except in so far as it interfered with what he con- 
sidered " loyalty." The whole letter, mutatis mutandis, is curiously 
like a charge given by the Bishop of Ely on the 20th July, 1872, on 
the Bennet judgment, in which he says, " that the (Protestant) 
Church allows a fair liberty of prophesying, but that ritual and cere- 
monial must be 1 somewhat exact.' " In fact, so long as there was 
an attempt at exterior conformity, their interior conformity mattered 
very little. It is curious to observe the similarity of opinion, or 
shall we say indifference to " doctrine," between the bishop of 1£00 
and the bishop of 1872. 

O'ConnelVa Anxiety fur Publicity. 305 

the statement occupied nearly three hundred folio 
pages, it would not, from its voluminous nature, be 
perfectly ready for their inspection before Saturday 
next. Notice would then be given to have it printed, 
in order to place it in the hands of the members of 
both Houses ; and it would be a subject of conside- 
ration with the committee, whether the statement 
should be confined to the members of Parliament 
alone or obtain a more general publicity. He had 
no hesitation in saying that, in his opinion, the 
preferable mode would be to have it published in 
the usual manner, in order that the people of the 
United Kingdom might be enabled to entertain no 
doubt whatever on the subject ; for it has been said 
tli at the people suffer not from any actual or positive 
oppression, but because they are told so. He had 
no difficulty in saying that this was an evil they 
ought to encounter, and the importance of informing 
every person in England of the real condition of the 
Catholics, should supersede any fastidious notions of 
delicacy or forbearance. 

O'Connell was always anxious for publicity ; he 
had no idea of concealment, and certainly was far 
beyond his age in his policy. Hitherto concealment 
had been necessary, and cautious language had been 
advisable. It needed a man like the Liberator to 
break down the barriers which were no longer 
necessary, but which were preserved, or attempted to 
be preserved by those who thought more of their 
own safety than the public good. 


The Edinburgh Reviewers. 

It was at this period that O'Connell made a speech 
in which he spoke freely of English ignorance of 
Irish affairs. Speaking of the writers in the Edinburgh 
Review, he said : 

"I differ from them on the subject of the Veto, and would 
undertake to convince any of them that I am right. I also easily 
see myself amongst those whom they style ' bombastic coun- 
sellors/ and I smile to see how happily they have described that 
fustian and rant which I am in the habit, as at present, of ob- 
truding upon your meetings. But, notwithstanding this attack, 
which I admit to be personal, I do most sincerely and cordially 
thank them for their exertions. It is not in the nature of popular 
feeling to continue long its gratitude ; but I have no hesitation 
in saying, that the Catholics of Ireland deserve to be slaves, 
if they ever forget what they owe to the writers of that article. 
Let me, however, repeat my regret, that its effects should have 
been weakened by the erroneous view which those writers took 
of our situation. It is strange enough, that when they contri- 
buted so considerably to the repeal of the slave trade, they were 
found to be perfectly conversant with the savage tribes of Raarta 
and Bambana ; and that they were able to give dissertations on 
the police of the barbaric cities of Sego and Timbuctoo, and yet 
are so deplorably ignorant of the condition of the white slaves 
of Ireland. 

"We have another excellent advocate in England — an ad- 
vocate whom we could bribe only one way : with the justice of 
our cause — I mean William Cobbett. It is truly important to 
us that his exertion should not be paralysed by ignorance of our 
wants. The moment we can show him the extent of our op- 
pressions, we furnish him with materials to ensure our triumph— 
and it must be admitted that we could not have a more useful 
advocate. When he is right, he is irresistible ; there is a 
strength and clearness in the way he puts every topic ; he is at 


once so convincing, and yet so familiar, that the dullest can 
understand, and even the higot must he convinced. But what 
has deservedly raised him high in public estimation is the manly 
candour with which he avows and retracts any opinion that he 
discovers to be erroneous." 

Perhaps the characteristic we should most admire 
at this period of O'Connelfs career, was his uncom- 
promising honesty. He knew the faults of his 
countrymen, he was far too keen-sighted not to see 
them ; but many a man, both before his time and 
since, has seen them and has not dared to denounce 
them. Disunion, the curse of Ireland and of Irish 
politics, threatened the extinction of the Catholic 
body, when it was working successfully ; and 
? Connell, at the risk of his rising prosperity, set 
himself not only to make peace, but to denounce this 
fatal error. 

" The old curse of the Catholics is, I fear, about to be re- 
newed ; division, that made us what we are and keeps us so, is 
again to rear its standard amongst us ; but it was thus always 
with the Irish Catholics. I recollect that in reading the life of 
the great Duke of Ormond, as he is called, I was forcibly struck 
with a despatch of his, transmitted about the year 1661, when 
he was Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. It was written to vindicate 
himself from a charge of having favoured the Papists, and 
having given them permission to hold a public meeting in 
Dublin. His answer is remarkable. He rejects with disdain the 
foul calumny of being a favourer of Papists, though he admits 
he gave them leave to meet : ' because,' said he, ' I know by 
experience, that the Irish Papists never meet without dividing 
and degrading themselves.' I quote the words of the official 


"My great lift into popularity " 

despatch ; I can lay my finger on the very spot in ' Carte's 
Life of OrmoncL' 

" One hundred and fifty years have since elapsed, and we 
are still in thraldom, because no experince can, I fear, cure us 
of this wretched disposition to divide. . He entreated of the re- 
spectable gentlemen who that day attended the committee, to 
consider that their mistakes, if they had made any, ought not to 
be visited with so grievous a calamity as that of creating dissen- 
sion amongst them." 

The truth was, that the Government were be- 
ginning to bribe the upper class of Catholics who 
were members of the Association, and it is said that 
some of those gentlemen had been tampered with 

O'Connell himself dated his position as leader of 
the Catholic party from the year 1810. When 
speaking of this subject to Mr. Daunt, he said : 

" In 1810, the corporation of Dublin met at the Koyal Ex- 
change to petition for the Repeal of the Union. John Keogh 
attended the meeting and made a speech. I also spoke in sup- 
port of the Repeal, and thenceforth do I date my great lift in 
popularity. Keogh saw that I was calculated to become a 
leader. He subsequently tried to impress me with his own 
policy respecting Catholic affairs. The course he then recom- 
mended was a sullen quiescence ; he urged that the Catholics 
should abstain altogether from agitation, and he laboured hard 
to bring me to adopt his views. But I saw that agitation was 
our only available weapon ; I saw that incessantly keeping our 
demands and our grievances before the public and the Govern- 
ment, we must sooner or later succeed. Moreover, that period 
above all others was not one at which our legitimate weapon, 
agitation, could have prudently been let to rust. It was during 

John Keogli. 


the war, and while Napoleon — that splendid madman — made the 
Catholics of Ireland so essential to the military defence of the 
empire ; the time seemed peculiarly appropriate to press our 
claims. About that period a great Catholic meeting was held. 
John Keogh was then old and infirm ; but his presence was 
eagerly desired, and the meeting awaited his arrival with patient 
good humour. I and another were deputed to request his 
attendance. John Keogh had this peculiarity— that when he 
was waited on about matters of business, he would talk away 
on all sorts of subjects except the business which had brought 
his visitors ; accordingly, he talked a great deal about every- 
thing but Catholic politics for the greater portion of our visit ; 
and when at length we pressed him to accompany us to the 
meeting, the worthy old man harangued us for a quarter of an 
hour to demonstrate the impolicy of public ly assembling at all, 
and ended by coming to the meeting. He drew up a resolution 
which denounced the continued agitation of the Catholic ques- 
tion at that time. This resolution, proceeding as it did from 
a tried old leader, was carried. I then rose and proposed a 
counter resolution, pledging us all to incessant, unrelaxing 
agitation ; and such were the wiseacres with whom I had to 
deal, that they passed my resolution in the midst of enthusiastic 
acclamations, without once dreaming that it ran directly counter 
to John Keogk's ! Thenceforward, I may say, I was the leader. 
Keogh called at my house some short time after ; he paid me 
many compliments, and repeated his importunities that I might 
alter my policy. But I was inexorable ; my course was re- 
solved upon and taken. I refused to yield. He departed in 
bad humour, and I never saw him afterwards. 

" Keogh was undoubtedly useful in his day. But he was 
one who would rather that the cause should fail, than that any- 
body but himself should have the honour of carrying it. 

" He and his coadjutors made a mistake in 1793. He was 


Three "Great Boons" 

a member of a deputation, consisting altogether of five persons, 
who had an interview with Pitt and Dundas, on the subject of 
the Catholic claims. Pitt asked, ' What would satisfy the 
Catholics ?' Keogh replied, ' Equality.' Pitt seemed inclined 
to comply with the wishes of the deputation, but Dundas started 
several objections. Pitt then said, ■ Would you be satisfied 
with the bar, the elective franchise, and eligibility to the 
municipalities ?' Keogh replied, ' They would be great boons.' 
Pitt immediately pinned him to that, and would concede no 

(Chapter .^cbcntb. 


Orange Outrages: Religious Persecution: Into- 
lerance in the Army : Adventures on Circuit : 
Another Affair of Honour: Professional Suc- 
cesses: Speech at Limerick: Happy Allusions: 
Address from Dingle and Reply: Catholics 
Entertaining Protestants at the Festive Board: 
The Government and the Catholic Association : 
Mr. Wellesley Pole: Addressing the Prince of 
Wales: Speeches on the Address and Conduct 
of Pole: Mr. Perceval: Political Dissension 
among Catholics: Right of Assembly: Arrest 
of Lord Fingal : Shelley : English Injustice : 
Father Dan : At Limerick and Cork. 

HE Orange Lodges had never 
ceased their activity since 
the Rebellion of 1798, and 
some members of these lodges were 
guilty of acts of singular cruelty. 
O'Connell took care to make 
those outrages public, and certainly the 
conduct of some individuals connected with 
that body was a disgrace to humanity. — 
Harmless and innocent children, helpless 
and infirm women, were but too frequently 
the objects of their wicked vengeance. On 

< sj> tf ie !- lh of Jul y 1808 > tlie y sll0t down a 

poor idiot, known as Jack of the Roads, 
who had made a bet that he would run from Dublin 
to Limerick, keeping pace with the mail. The bet 


Orange Outrages. 

was fourpence and a pint of porter. As lie passed 
through Mountrath on his return, he was foolish 
enough to flourish a green bough at a party of 
Orangemen. One of them fired at his face ; his eyes 
were destroyed — and they left him to die in torment 
by the road side ! 

In Dublin they attacked some poor people, who 
had made a bonfire and danced round St. Kevin's 
fountain with garlands, and shot them down like dogs. 
At Newry, eighteen men crept round a party who 
were enjoying themselves on the eve of St. John the 
Baptist by lighting bonfires, and shot them down in 
cold blood. All this passed unpunished ; but if 
Catholics had been the guilty individuals, there 
would have been a cry from one end of England to 
the other for vengeance. 

But this was not all. At the very time when Irish 
soldiers were dying by hundreds for the defence of 
England — when the peninsula of Spain was reeking 
with their life-blood, they were not only refused the 
consolations of their religion, but were cruelly pun- 
ished if they even dared to ask for them. It was no 
wonder that they should have little love for the upper 
classes of their Catholic fellow-countrymen, who, 
content with their own spiritual advantages, troubled 
themselves but little for those whose souls were 
equally precious in the sight of their Creator. It was 
no wonder that these poor men looked up with all 
the reverence of their being to the man who stood 
up boldly to proclaim their rights — to ask why they 

Intolerance in the Army. 


should be excepted from the benefits of such religious 
liberty as the Government of the day permitted. 1 

On the 1st December 1810, O'Connell brought 
this subject before the Catholic Committee. We 
quote his speech from the files of the Dublin Evening 
Post of that date : 

' 1 Sir, I rise in pursuance of the notice which I gave at our 
last meeting, for the purpose of stating such information as I 
have received, respecting the illegal persecution of an Irish 
Catholic soldier of the militia. And, sir, in my humble judg- 
ment, we should be guilty of a dereliction of duty to our fellow- 
countrymen if we suffered the perpetrators of the offence, which 
I am about to state, to go unpunished. 

1 1 1 conceive we are called on by every social feeling as 
Catholics and as Irishmen, to drag the bigoted delinquents, 
whatever may be their exalted rank in life, not only before an 
enlightened public, but before a court of criminal jurisdiction. 

" The facts, as reported to me, are shortly these : A 
Roman Catholic private soldier, belonging to a certain regiment 
of militia, for no other offence than for attending at chapel to 
discharge those religious duties which he, in common with all 
mankind, owed to his God, has been sentenced to be trans- 
ported for life ! — and had actually, like a common convict, 
proceeded so far on his passage into exile as the Isle of Wight. 

" Sir, there are two courses left for us to adopt in this case ; 
the first, is to bring the facts, in whatever shape may be thought 

1 Patrick Spence, a Catholic private in the Dublin militia, was 
required to attend the Protestant service. He refused, and was at 
once conveyed to the black hole. He then wrote a respectful ex- 
postulation to his commanding officer ; for this he was tried by court 
martial, and sentenced to receive 999 lashes. The barbarous sen- 
tence was in the act of execution when he was offered the choice of 
an exchange into a condemned regiment, which he accepted. 


A Most Cruel Injustice. 

advisable, before tlie House ot Commons ; the second, to have 
the business investigated in a court of law, and disposed of by 
the verdict of a jury. That the law, as it now exists, is suffi- 
ciently strong to punish the persons guilty of the crime, there 
can be no doubt. I shall therefore move that our secretary, 
Mr. E. Hay, do open a subscription for the purpose of defray- 
ing the expense of having the matter fully investigated ; and 
that a sub-committee, consisting of five, be appointed to inquire 
into the truth of the facts, and to report to the general com- 

The motion was seconded by Mr. Hussey, and 
Mr. Coyle called the attention of the meeting to the 
injustice done to the Catholics in Roscommon and 
Fermanagh, where a Catholic was not even allowed 
to hold the situation of a non-commissioned officer. 
The Colonel' of the Fermanagh Regiment obliged 
every officer to take the Orange oath —a most cruel 

A great deal has been said and written by Pro- 
testants about the persecuting spirit of the Catholic 
Church, yet they have curiously overlooked the 
bitter and relentless persecutions of their own 
Church. At this very period a Catholic Church 
was robbed by Orangemen, and though the robbery 
was clearly proved, the jury, being also Orangemen, 
refused to convict ; more than probably because they 
considered robbery under such circumstances as no 
sin. 1 Well might Mr. O'Connell say, when speaking 

1 Counsellor Kernan, a Fermanagh gentleman, was appealed to 
at this meeting to give information on the subject ; he said : 

" Sir, I am not competent to say (because I am ignorant of the 

Temper of the Times. 


of the necessity for proposing a compilation of the 
penal laws, that Englishmen might know the griev- 
ances from which Ireland had long suffered, that 
"from the unfortunate temper of the times, and the 
unhappy code of laws which prevailed on these sub- 
jects, a jury might possibly be found to strain the 
law to the worst purposes." 1 

O'Connell visited Limerick on circuit during the 
summer of the year 1 SI 0. The admirable sketch 
taken of him in the Court-house on this occasion will 
be found at the head of this chapter. It is the 
only early likeness of O'Connell in existence. The 
features express more intelligence than power, yet we 

fact) whether the private soldiers of the Fermanagh regiment, pro- 
fessing the Catholic religion, are prevented by the Earl of Ennis- 
killen from exercising their religious duties — I should hope the fact 
is otherwise. 

14 With respect to the circumstance of the scandalous outrage 
committed in the Chapel of Enniskillcn, the trial had been published 
in all the newspapers of this city ; and, to such persons as had read 
I he report, it is unnecessary for me to state more than this fact ; 
namely, that at the trial there was sufficient evidence produced on 
the part of the Crown to convict the traverser, and that the verdict 
of acquittal was, therefore, not only contrary to evidence, but to the 
charge of Mr. Justice Fletcher, the learned judge who presided. 

" It was not singular in that county, that the jury who tried the 
officer consisted of Protestants — there being but two instances, as I 
am informed, since the Revolution, of Catholics serving as jurors at 
the assizes of Enniskillen." — Dublin Morning Post, 15th December, 

1 From his speech at the Catholic Committee, 15th December, 
1810.— Dublin Evening Post. 

All the extracts from newspapers given in this work arc taken 
from the original source, a very large collection having been placed 
in my hands through the kindness of friends. 


u Tke Good Old Times:' 

can trace indications of the more massive expression 
which developed itself in after life. 1 

O'Connell was fond of relating his adventures 
when on circuit ; and as he seldom lost sight of a 
joke, or failed to see one, his repertory of stories was 
sufficiently amusing. He would tell in after life of 
the "good old times" — good as far as the comfort of 
easy travelling was concerned, when a journey was 
to a great extent a pleasure. At such times, too, he 
could unburden himself of professional cares; and 
for a man who worked as he did, such relaxation 
must have been both necessary and enjoyable. 

" ( In 1780/ he used to say, ' the two members for the 
county Kerry, when preparing to visit Dublin, sent to the 
metropolis for a noddy. The noddy took eight days to get to 
Kerry, and they, when seated in it, took seventeen days to get 
to Dublin ! Each night the two members, owing to the absence 
of inns, quartered themselves at the house of some friend ; and 
on the seventeeth day they reached Dublin, just in time for the 
opening of the session.' 

" Speaking of the inn at Mill-street, he said : ' The im- 
proved roads have injured that inn. I well remember when it 
was the regular end of the first day's journey from Tralee. It 
was a comfortable thing for a social pair of fellow-travellers to 
get out of their chaise at night-fall, and to find at the inn (it 
was then kept by a cousin of mine, a Mrs. Cotter) a roaring fire 
in a clean, well-furnished parlour, the whitest table-linen, the 
best beef, the sweetest and tenderest mutton, the fattest fowl, 
the most excellent wines (claret and Madeira were the high 

1 This likeness was taken by Mr. Gubbins an artist still living, 
at the advanced age of 85. I am indebted to Mr. Lenihan, author 
of the " History of Limerick," for the original, which is in his pos- 

" A Right Good House" 


wines there — they knew nothing about champagne), and the 
most comfortable beds. In my early days it was by far the 
best inn in Minister. But the new roads enabled travellers to 
get far beyond Mill-street in a day ; and the inn, being there- 
fore less frequented than of old, is, of course, not so well looked 
after by its present proprietor. 

1 1 ' There was the Coach-and-Horses Inn at Assolas, in the 
county Clare, close to the bridge,' said O'Connell. 1 What 
delicious claret they had there ! It is levelled with the ground 
these many years. Then, there was that inn at Maryborough ; 
how often have I seen the old trooper who kept it smoking his 
pipe on the stone bench at the door, and his fat old wife sitting- 
opposite him. ' They kept a right good house. She inherited 
the inn from her father and mother, and was early trained up to 
the business. She was an only child, and had displeased her 
parents by a runaway match with a private dragoon. However, 
they soon relented and received her and her husband into 
favour. The worthy trooper took charge of the stable depart- 
ment, for which his habits well adapted him ; and the in-door 
business was admirably managed by his wife. Then, there was 
that inn at Naas, most comfortably kept — and excellent wine. I 
remember stopping to dine there one day, posting up from the 
Limerick assizes. There were three of us in the chaise, and 
one was tipsy ; his eyes were bloodshot and his features swollen 
from hard drinking on the previous night, besides which he 
had tippled a little in the morning. As he got out of the 
chaise, I called him "Parson!" to the evident delight of a 
Methodist preacher, who was haranguing a crowd in the street, 
and who deemed his own merits enhanced by the contrast with 
a sottish minister of the Establishment.' " 

On one occasion as he travelled from Ashbourne 

to Dublin, some objects of antiquity which Grose 1 

1 This is the Captain Grose of whom Burns wrote : 
" A chieFs amang you takin' notes, 
And, faith, he'll prent 'em." 

Captain Grose and the Butcher. 

had illustrated, recalled that antiquary to the Libera- 
tor's mind : 

" ■ Grose,' said lie, ' came to Ireland full of strong pre- 
judices against the people, but they gave way beneath the in- 
fluence of Irish drollery. He was very much teazed, when 
walking through the Dublin markets, by the butchers besetting 
him for his custom. At last he got angry, and told them a 1 ! 
to go about their business ; when a sly, waggish butcher, de- 
liberately surveying Grose's fat, ruddy face and corpulent person, 
said to him, ' Well, plaze your honour, I won't ask you to buy 
since it puts your honour in a passion. But I'll tell you how 
you'll sarve me.' ' How ?' inquired Grose in a gruff growl. 
' Just tell all your friends that its Larry HefYernan that supplies 
your honour with mate, and never fear I'll have custom 
enough.' ■■ 

Passing through jSTenaodi, he said : 

" Some years ago, when this neighbourhood was much in- 
fested with robbers, I was travelling on circuit. My horses 
were not very good, and just at this spot I saw a man whose 
movements excited my suspicions. He slowly crossed the 
road, about twenty yards in advance of my carriage, and awaited 
my approach with his back against the wall, and his hand in 
the breast of his coat, as if ready to draw a pistol. I felt 
certain I should be attacked, so I held my pistol ready to fire, 
its barrel resting on the carriage door. The man did not stir, 
and so escaped. Had he but raised his hand, I should have 
fired. Good God ! what a miserable guilty wretch I should 
have been ! How sincerely I thank God for my escape from 
such guilt !" 

We find O'Connell in Limerick again in August 
1813, and engaged in " an affair of honour." While 
occupied in professional business, he got into an 
altercation with Counsellor Magrath, which, according 
to the custom of the day, should be settled by pistols. 

An Affair of Honour. 


The combatants met in the old court-mill field, the 
usual resort in such cases. Mr. O'Gorman was 
O'Connell's second, and Mr. Bennett was second to 
Mr. Magrath. Mr. Bennett stepped the ground by 
mutual consent ; but at the last moment a party of 
gentlemen came on the ground to make peace ; or, if 
peace could not be made, to see the fight out. Peace 
was made eventually. Magrath declared himself 
sorry for what had occurred, and O'Connell declared 
lie bore no enmity to Magrath. The two gentlemen 
then shook hands, and drove back to the city in the 
siime carriage, conversing. 

Possibly it never occurred to any of the party 
how very different the end might have been. 

O'Connell's fame as a barrister was now increas- 
ing daily. 1 In the autumn assizes of 1813, twenty- 
six cases were tried in Limerick Court-house, and he 
held a brief in each case. His professional career was 
a series of successes ; and it is no wonder that it 
was considered a favour when he accepted a retainer. 

One case in which he was engaged at this period 
was painfully characteristic of the time. O'Connell's 
address to the judge, when moving for a conditional 

1 Sir Joshua Barrington thus describes 0'ComieH*s appearance 
at this period, in his not very veracious " Personal Sketches," vol. 
ii. p. 452. " O'Connell at that day was a large, ruddy, young man, 
with a most savage dialect, an imperturbable countenance, intrepid 
address, et pmterea nihih" Sir Joshua was not gifted with much 
discrimination of character, or he would not have written the last 


322; Carrying " Egyis to- a Bad Market" 

order against the magistrates concerned in the affair, 
will sufficiently explain the circumstances : 

" The facts of the case," he said, " are really curious, and 
would be merely ludicrous but for the sufferings inflicted on my 
client. The affidavits stated that a peasant girl named 
Hennessey had a hen which laid — not golden eggs, but eggs 
strangely marked with red lines and figures. She on the 21st 
April, 1813, brought her hen and eggs to the town of Roscrea, 
near which she lived, and of which the defendant was the 
Protestant curate. It appeared by the result that she brought 
her eggs to a bad market, though at first she had some reason 
to think differently ; for the curiosity excited by those eggs 
attracted some attention to the owner ; and as she was the 
child of parents who were miserably poor, her wardrobe was in 
such a state that she might almost literally be said to be 
clothed in nakedness. My lord, a small subscription to buy 
her a petticoat was suggested by the person who makes the 
present affidavit, himself a working weaver of the town, James 
Murphy, and the sum of fifteen shillings was speedily collected. 
It was a little fortune to the poor creature ; she kissed her hen, 
thanked her benefactors, and with a light heart started on her 
return home. But diis aliter visum; at that moment two 
constables arrived with a warrant signed by the Rev. William 
Hamilton. This warrant charged her with the strange offence 
of a foul imposition. It would appear as if it were issued in 
some wretched jest arising from the sound, not the sense. But 
it proved no joke to the girl, for she was arrested. Her hen, 
her eggs, and her fifteen shillings were taken into custody, and 
carried before his Worship. He was not at leisure to try the 
case that day. The girl was committed to Bridewell, where 
she lay a close prisoner for twenty-four hours, when his Rev. 
Worship was pleased to dispose of the matter. Without the 
mockery of any trial, he proceeded at once to sentence. He 
sentenced the girl to perpetual banishment from Roscrea. He 
sent her out of the town guarded by three constables, and with 
positive injunctions never to set foot in it again. He decapi- 

l< Contrary to Good Manners" 


tated her hen with his own sacred hands. He broke the eggs 
and confiscated the fifteen shillings. When the girl returned 
to her home — the fowl dead, the eggs broken, and the fifteen 
shillings in his reverence's pocket, one would suppose justice 
quite satisfied. But no ! his Worship discovered that Murphy 
had collected the offending money ; he was therefore to be 
punished. He was, indeed, first tried — but under what law, 
think you *? Why, literally, my lords, under the statute of 
good manners. Yes, under that act, wherever i. is to be found, 
was Murphy tried, convicted, and sentenced. He was com- 
mitted to Bridewell, where he lay for three days. The com- 
mittal states ' that he was charged on oath with having assisted 
in a foul imposition on public credulity— contrary to good 
manners.' These are the words of the committal ; and he was 
ordered to be detained until he should give security — 1 for his 
good behaviour.' Such is the ridiculous warrant on which an 
humble man has been deprived of his liberty for three days. 
Such are the details given of the vexatious proceedings of the 
reverend magistrate. It was to be hoped that those details 
would turn out to be imaginary, but they are sworn to — 
positively sworn to — and require investigation, the more 
especially as motives of a highly culpable nature were attri- 
buted — he (O'Connell) hoped unduly attributed — to the gentle- 
man. He was charged on oath with having been actuated by 
malice towards this wretched girl because she was a Catholit . 
It was sworn that his object was to establish some charge of 
superstition against her, upon no better ground than this — 
that one of those eggs had a mark on it nearly resembling a 

The rule was granted ; but Mr. Hamilton com- 
promised the case, in consequence of the public 
exposure of his conduct. 

One of O'Connell's best reported and most bril- 
liant speeches was made at Limerick, while he was 
on circuit in 1812. The meeting was held at the 


Protestant Co-operation. 

Commercial Buildings, George's Street. T. K. Ryan, 
of Scarteen, Esq., was in the chair, and the meeting 
was opened with a speech from Mr. William Roche, 
the same gentleman who represented the city of 
Limerick, on Repeal principles, from the passing of 
the Reform Bill until 1841. After expressing general 
concurrence with the proceedings of the Catholic 
Board in Dublin, confident hope of the success of the 
cause in the next session of Parliament, gratitude to 
its friends in that body, and aversion to the idea of 
what were called " securities " being given in return 
for Catholic Emancipation, he read the resolutions 
that had been prepared, and moved their adoption. 

O'Connell then rose amid thunders of applause, 
and spoke for more than an hour. The following are 
some of the most striking passages in his address : 

" We owe it to the liberality of the Irish Protestants, to 
the zeal of the Irish Presbyterians, to the friendly exertion of 
the Irish Quakers ; we owe, to the cordial re-union of every 
sect and denomination of Irish Christians, the progress of our 
cause. They have procured for us the solemn and distinct 
promise and pledge of the House of Commons — they almost 
obtained for us a similar declaration from the House of Lords. 
It was lost by the petty majority of one; it was lost by a 
majority, not of those who listened to the absurd prosings of 
Lord Eldon, to the bigoted and turbid declamation of that 
English Chief-Justice, whose sentiments so forcibly recall the 
memory of the Star Chamber ; not of those who were able to 
compare the vapid or violent folly of the one party with the 
statesman-like sentiments, the profound arguments, the splendid 
eloquence of the Marquis Wellesley." 

He then denounced, in scathing and indignant 

Representation of Limerick. 


language, the deliberate lie which Lord Castlereagh 
had uttered in the House of Commons, that no torture 
had been used in Ireland in the years 1797 and 1798. 
His hearers knew but too well how utterly false this 
statement was, but it answered the purpose for which 
it was uttered; it silenced or satisfied the indignation 
of such Englishmen as were sufficiently humane to 
dislike this mode of government. Who, indeed, 
would believe any assertion made to the contrary, 
even by the nation, when a noble lord had spoken on 
the subject ? And in our own time, the bold asser- 
tion of an unscrupulous politician is not unfrequently 
taken in evidence by those who prefer to believe a 

In conclusion, O'Connell spoke on the all-impor- 
tant subject of the representation of the city ; and 
for the first time we find the idea thrown out openly 
of offering himself as a parliamentary representative : 

i 1 You deserve not freedom — you, citizens of Limerick, with 
the monuments of the valour of your ancestors around you — 
you are less than men, if my feeble tongue be requisite to rouse 
you into activity. Your city is, at present, nearly a close 
borough ; do but will it, and you make it free ! 

" I know legal obstacles have been thrown in your way. I 
know that, for months past, the Kecorder has sat alone at the 
sessions — that he has not only tried cases, in the absence of 
any other magistrate, which he is authorised by law to do, but 
that he has solely opened and adjourned the sessions, which in 
my opinion he is clearly unwarranted in doing ; he has, by this 
means, I know, delayed the registry of your freeholds, because 
two magistrates are necessary for that purpose : I have, how- 
ever, the satisfaction to tell you, that the Court of King's 


Bidding for Parliamentary Honours, 

Bench will, in the next term, have to determine on the legality 
of his conduct, and of that of the other charter magistrates 
who have banished themselves, I understand, from the Sessions' 
Court since the registry has been spoken of ! They shall be 
served with the regular notices : and, depend upon it, this 
scheme cannot long retard you. 

" I speak to you on this subject as a lawyer — you can best 
judge in what estimation my opinion is amongst you : but such 
as it is, I pledge it to you, that you can easily obviate the 
present obstacles to the registry of your freeholds. I can only 
assure you that the constitution of your city is perfectly free — 
that the sons of freemen, and all those who have served an ap- 
prenticeship to a freeman, are all entitled to their freedom and 
to vote for the representation of your city. 

" I can tell you more : that if you bring your candidate to 
a poll, your adversary will be deprived of any aid from non- 
resident or occasional freemen. We will strike orT his list the 
freemen from Grort and from Galway, the freemen from the 
band, and many from the battalion of the city of Limerick 

" In short, the opening of the borough is a matter of little 
difficulty. If you will but form a committee, and collect funds, 
in your opulent city, you will soon have a representative ready 
to obey your voice — you cannot want a candidate. If the 
Emancipation Bill passes next session, as it is so likely to do, 
and that no other candidate oifers, I myself will bring your 
present number to the poll. I, probably, will have little chance 
of success — but I will have the satisfaction of showing this city 
and the country what the free-born mind might achieve if it 
were properly seconded." 

O'Connell was always singularly hippy in his 
allusions to public events and circumstances. There 
are many men who can allude to the passing topics 
of the day in their public speeches, but there are few 
who can point their allusions like Q'Connell. We 

Pel ieitous Expression . 


find a remarkable instance of this felicity of expres- 
sion and of application at the conclusion of this 
eloquent address. 

Irish soldiers were at that time protecting the 
liberty of England, and but for Irish soldiers England 
would have been for a time certainly, if not perma- 
nently, conquered by French valour. O'Connell 
said, " I wish to see the strength of this island — this 
unconquered, this unconquerable island — combined 
to resist the mighty foe of freedom, the extinguisher 
of civil liberty, who rules the Continent from St. 
Petersburg to the verge of the Irish bayonets in Spain " 

Those who know Dublin need not be reminded 
that Merrion Square was, and is, one of its most 
fashionable residences. O'Connell's professional ad- 
vancement had already justified him in establishing 
himself there ; and in June 1811, we find him re- 
plying from thence to an address which was sent to 
him from Dingle. As it was one of the earliest, if 
not the very first of the addresses ever presented to 
him, we insert it here. 

The address was adopted at a meeting described 
as of " the clergy, gentlemen, magistrates, and free- 
holders of the town and vicinity of Dingle, held in 
that town on the loth day of June 1811, in pur- 
suance of public requisition, Matthew Moriarty, Esq., 
in the chair," and was as follows : 

H To Daniel O'Connell, Esq. 

" Srn — "We, the gentlemen, clergy, magistrates, and free- 
holders of the town and vicinity of Dingle, assembled pursuant 


Address from Dingle. 

to a public requisition, desire to express to you our sense of 
your unwearied exertions in advocating the cause of our Catholic 

" We are particularly anxious to convey to you our decided 
approbation of the manliness, candour, and perspicuity with 
which you have, at the aggregate meeting of the Catholics of 
Ireland, held in Dublin on the 28th ultimo, developed the 
tendency of the intended transfer of our militia, and displayed 
the machinations of those deluded men who style themselves 
Orangemen and Purplemen. 

' ' We anticipate from your exertion of talent and con- 
stitutional firmness the most beneficial consequences ; as that 
exertion has, we trust, roused to the consideration of these 
subjects every individual who feels interested in the welfare of 
the country, from the prince to the freeholder. 

" Your object is the same as ours ; to prevent internal 
feuds and animosities, which have been hitherto so injurious to 
our unfortunate country ; and to promote that unanimity which 
can alone save and exalt those realms. 

" We request of you to accept our most cordial thanks as a 
small tribute of merit pre-eminently resplendent on every 

"And be assured that it has made an indelible impression 
on us ; who repose a pleasing confidence in your exertions, dis- 
regarding and despising party feeling, and looking to the cause 
of our native country, equally dear to us all. 

" Signed, by order, 

"Edward Fitzgerald, Secretary. 

"Dingle, 15th June, 1811" 

Mr. O'ConneLVs reply was in the following terms: 
<c Gentlemen — Your address has surprised me almost as 

much as it has pleased me. I cannot but owe it to your 

friendship, that you have noticed so humble an individual. I 

am proud of your approbation. 

" The principle on which I have been, and am an advocate 

of Catholic Emancipation, is not confined to Ireland. It 

O'ConneU's Reply. 


embraces the cause of the Dissenters in England, and of the 
Protestants in the Spanish and Portuguese territories. I need 
extend it no further. The crime of intolerance is now confined 
among Christian nations— almost exclusively to England and 
her allies. Arbitrary as the military ruler of the French may 
be, and enemy as he is of civil and religious liberty, he has had 
too much common sense to commit the useless and absurd in- 
justice of violating conscience. 

" For my part, I hate the Inquisition as much as I do the 
Orange and Purple system, and for the same reason. The 
man who attempts to interfere between his fellow-man and his 
Deity is, to my mind, the most guilty of criminals. 

" You call our country unfortunate. She is unfortunate 
through the dissension of her children ; dissension has degraded 
her character, and annihilated her constitution. 

" In the name of religion, of charity — hate and rancour have 
been disseminated ; but a brighter era, I trust, approaches. 
And now it is the sacred duty of every man, who is faithful to 
his king and attached to the independence of his native land to 
contribute his best exertions to extinguish every cause of 
animosity and pretence for disunion. 

" I have the honour to be, with great respect, your deeply 
indebted and faithful servant, 

" Daniel O'Connell. 

"Merrion Square, 17th June, 1811." 

On the 7th of May 1811, a dinner was given by 
the leading Catholics to some of their Protestant 
friends. The short speech made by O'Connell on 
that occasion was fully reported, and we give it un- 
abridged. At a time when a Catholic Archbishop 1 

1 In the Standard for July we find a report of a meeting of the 
International Union Congress, in the Middle Temple Hall, at which 
Archbishop Manning took the chair. There were some remarks 
made by his Grace on this occasion which singularly resemble the 


Catholics Entertaining Protestants. 

not ^infrequently presides, and very frequently assists 
at Protestant meetings, we may well recall with regret 
the statement of O'Connell, that this was " the first- 
time when Catholics and Protestants publicly as- 
sembled at the festive board." 

" Major Bryan proposed the health of Sir James Riddall, 
whose absence, he regretted was from indisposition. To this 
toast was added, at Counsellor O'Connell's suggestion, 'The 
Repeal of the Union.' Counsellor O'Connell — ' Gentlemen, 
when I proposed that a Repeal of the Union should he coupled 
with the name of that virtuous patriot and friend to his country, 
Sir James Riddali, I was fully impressed that it is the only 
real Irish question ; and, allow me to say, that every Catholic 
in this meeting must regret the absence of that worthy Irish- 
man, and the more so, as I understand it is occasioned by 
severe illness. If in this assembly any Irishman hears me who 
has mistaken the true interests of his country (as we all are 
liable to err), and approved of that fatal law, the act of Legis- 
lative Union, this is a glorious opportunity for us to speak our 
sentiments, and, by deprecating so disastrous a measure, cou- 

tone and spirit of O'Connell's speech at the first public dinner of 
Catholics and Protestants. The Archbishop said : 

" Before we thank Dr. Bellows for the fertile, eloquent, and con- 
densed address which he has delivered, I will ask you to bear with 
me for a moment, as I am irresistibly impelled to make one or two 
remarks. In mentioning those who have exercised an apostleship 
of charity in the work of mitigating prison discipline, it would not be 
right to forget the name of Elizabeth Fry. Our lecturer has given 
us examples of two of those great energies, those masculine activi- 
ties (Howard and Wesley) who laboured to reform and purify the 
morals of men in the last century ; but the action of Mrs. Fry was 
like the light of heaven and the dew fertilizing the earth — silent, 
irresistible, penetrating, and efficacious, even beyond the power of 


vince him that there is but one opinion on the subject in Ireland. 
This, I believe, is the first time Catholics and Protestants have 
publicly assembled at the festive board— alas ! the first time 
we have sought access to each other's hearts. If such meetings 
shall frequently take place, and I trust in God they will, it is 
impossible that your great and ancient nation — your nation 
famed for every physical good which can make existence 
valuable, and which has given birth to the best and bravest of 
the human race— it is impossible, I say, that any minister can 
tyrannise over you, or any foe effect your subjugation. If the 
spirit shall go abroad which pervades this meeting, is it too 
much to expect that your enfranchisement is at hand, that your 
parliament must be restored'? As it is the habit of men who 
follow my trade to talk much, you may, perhaps, fear that I 
trespass on your attention ; but I shall be brief. A bigot — be 
he of what profession he may, whether Catholic or Protestant : 
of what rank soever, whether monarch, peer, or peasant : 
whether his brow is encircled with a diadem, or his body en- 
veloped with rags — is a bigot to me. Louis XIV. disgracefully 
treated a brave and skilful warrior. Admiral Duchene, because 
he was a Protestant ; and Louis XIV. was, therefore, an out- 
rageous bigot. Our gracious prince, who is the parent of his 
Irish people, has given an earnest of what we may expect from 
him, by refusing to comply with the corrupt rerpiisition of a 
minister ; he will unite us, and thereby have, instead of one 
regiment of his own Irish, an entire nation.' 99 

Vigorous efforts were made by Government to 
suppress the Catholic Association at the close of the 
year 1811 ; but O'Connell had inspired a spirit and 
vigour into the nation which was not easily repressed. 

On the 12th February 1811, the signal of attack 
was sounded by Mr. Wellesley Pole, who issued a 
circular letter to the sheriffs and chief magistrates, 
in which the Catholic Committee was denounced as 


The First Collision. 

"an unlawful, assembly sitting in Dublin." They 
were required : 

" In pursuance of the provisions of an Act of the 33rd of 
George IV., c. 29, to cause to he arrested and commit to 
prison (unless hail shall he given) all persons within your juris- 
diction who shall be guilty of giving, or having given or pub- 
lished, any written or other notice of the election or appointment 
in any manner of such representative, delegate, or manager as 
aforesaid; or of attending, voting, or acting, or of having 
attended, voted, or acted in any manner in the choice or ap- 
pointment of such representative, delegate, or manager; and 
you are to communicate these directions, as far as lies in your 
power, forthwith to the several magistrates of the said county." 

The Lord Chancellor said " the language was 
put together in a slovenly manner," but Government 
proclamations do not always bear literary criticism. 
Mr. Pole — or, to speak more correctly his master, 
Mr. Perceval — meant action, and gave a very signifi- 
cant hint to that effect by sending a paper to each 
person to whom this letter was forwarded, entitled, 
" Some Observations and Extracts concerning Arrests 
of Criminals." The " Observations, Extracts," &c, 
concluded with this passage : 

" As at this time the attention of magistrates must naturally 
be chiefly turned to cases of a seditious nature, some extracts 
from the several Acts of Parliament made, relative to such 
offences, are herewith sent." 

The first collision took place on the 23rd of 
February, when Alderman Darley and Mr. Babington 
presented themselves at the meeting. 

Lord Ffrench was called to the chair, and Alder- 
man Darley at once announced his purpose : 

Acting under Orders. 


"My lord, we are come as magistrates of the 
district to inquire whether the persons present com- 
pose the Catholic Committee ? " 

A long discussion ensued. Lord Ffrench would 
not commit himself, and demanded Alderman 
Darley's authority. Alderman Darley fell back on 
Government, and hoped the meeting " would be so 
good " as to disperse quietly. 

Mr. Lidwell, a Protestant gentleman, declared he 
would not leave the room unless removed by the 
strong hand of power. 

Lord Ffrench bossed to be allowed the honour 
of being the last man to leave the room, and declared 
lie u had his night-cap in his pocket, and did not 
care where he went." 

After much discussion, Mr. Darley was de- 
spatched to Mr. Pole for positive instructions, and 
Mr. Babington remained in custody of the meeting, 
and the meeting in custody of Mr. Babington. 

Mr. Pole performed a series of legal somersaults, 
lie sent back his unhappy deputy with a polite 
message, saying that he would be happy to see Lord 
Ffrench, but Lord Ffrench refused to visit him alone. 
Mr. Darley then, acting on orders, deliberately denied 
any intention of dispersing the meeting if they had 
only assembled to petition Parliament ; although he 
had stated, on his first appearance, and in pursuance 
of his first orders, that he " had been ordered and 
directed by Government to request them to disperse, 
be their business what it may." 


Address to the Prince of Wales. 

Mr. Wellesley Pole then endeavoured, with more 
tact than honesty, to make it appear that the Catholic 
Committee had asked for an interview with him, the 
reverse being the fact. 

On the 8th of March, the Catholics went to offer 
an address to the Prince of Wales, now Regent ; but 
in this address they took care to express their disap- 
probation of the policy of Mr. Perceval, who was the 
unvarying enemy of Catholics. The following gentle- 
men were to present the address : — Earls Shrews- 
bury, Fingal, and Kenmare ; Viscounts Gormanstown, 
Netterville, and Southwell ; Lords Trimleston and 
Ffrench ; Sirs Thomas Esmond, Edward Bellew, 
Hugh O'Reilly, Thomas Burke, and Francis Goold, 
Barts. ; Major-General O'Farrell ; Colonel Burke ; 
Messrs. G. Bryan, R. M'Donnell, Di O'Connell, J. 
Keogh, Owen O'Connor, M. Donnellau, Edward 
Corbally, T. Wynne, J. Burke, Wm. Coppinger, 
Ambrose J. Roche, Edward Murphy, D. W. O'Reilly, 
George Browne, E. Taaffe, D. Caulfield. 

O'Connell made two speeches at this meeting, 
from which we give the following extracts : 

" I shall not consume the time of this meeting by entering 
into an explanation of our motives for presenting the address ; 
and I feel it would be a reproach to adduce any argument to 
justify a measure so anxiously wished for by the Catholics of 
Ireland. We owe it to his Royal Highness to express, with 
heartfelt gratitude, our unfeigned thanks for the many favours 
and benefits conferred on us by his revered father, to whom we 
are perhaps indebted for the privilege of meeting here this day. 
Here Mr. O'Connell took a summary view of the political stale 

0' Conn ell \s Speech . 


and incapacities of the Catholics at the accession of his Majesty 
to the throne, when, he said, they were excluded from every 
situation of trust, honour, an ! emolument— when the then ex- 
isting laws sanctioned the breach of every honourable principle- - 
when there was hardly a grievance or degradation that man 
could be subject to, that the laws did not inflict on the Oath •>- 
lies of Ireland. Thus stood the abominable code at the period 
of his Majesty's accession, and such hardships and slavery did 
it impose, that the mind cannot contemplate it without recoil- 
ing with horror and disgust. By adverting to this period of our 
history, he did not wish to excite religious distinctions ; he did 
not wish to rekindle hatred and animosity among his country- 
men ; his motives were widely different : they were to lay 
before the meeting the obligations we owed to his Majesty for 
the many privileges which the Catholics at present enjoy. . . . 
He lamented that, through the misguided folly of our rulers, 
the country had already suffered too niueh. It had been in- 
volved in deep calamity ever since the baneful measure of Union 
had been forced upon distracted Ireland. At that calamitous 
period the argument made use of by the Parliament of England, 
for withholding from the Prince his undoubted right, was, that 
by appointing him Regent, they preferred him to William Pitt. 
The offence given to the Ministry of the present time seems to 
be, that the people prefer his Royal Highness to the usurper, 
Perceval. It is observable that the moment the Regent was 
appointed, W. W. Pole set off for Ireland, to misrepresent the 
Catholics and excite discord. He (Mr. Pole) seemed to fear 
that in the liberal mind of the Prince something would be found 
that would drive faction out of its fastness. He took the most 
decisive measures that his Utile mind could suggest. Although 
a general committee of the Catholics of Ireland had been estab- 
lished for almost eighty years, he had the audacity to issue his 
proclamation, declaring that it was an illegal assembly, and 
that the meeting was guilty of a high misdemeanor. He thus 
thought proper to pronounce sentence without going to trial ; 
without the interposition of any judge. He said he acted under 


' Connell 's Speech . 

the advice of a judge, ?t?7io is naf a native of this country, and 
who is, therefore, ignorant of the Irish character. He admitted 
that the judge was an accomplished gentleman and an able 
lawyer — but Irishmen would not submit to be ruled by special 
pleadings and English technicality. But to return to the sub- 
ject of the letter. It appears that it was the first act of his 
Koyal Highness's government in Ireland. It was the ill-advised 
measure of William Wellesley Pole — the secretary of all ages. 
We know it could not have emanated from his Koyal Highness. 
As for Wellesley Pole, he was first secretary to the King, then 
to the usurping protector, and then to the Kegent ; but mVfirst 
act was for the purpose of putting up the Orange party, and 
dividing Irishmen ; but this was not the act of the Prince ; his 
confidential friends' conduct, in both Houses of Parliament, is 
a sure pledge that what appeared as the first act of his regency 
was unknown to him. The Earl of Moira had disavowed the 
act, and he was not only a friend to his country, but he was the 
friend of his Prince. He could not speak in terms strong 
enough of the noble exertions of that great man in behalf of his 
country ; he was the true patriot, not like the men who might 
vote for the Catholic petition. He would disavow them, as they 
voted at the side of Perceval against their Prince. One member 
for the county he had belonged to had done so, and hoped yet 
to meet him on the hustings to express the contempt he felt for 
such conduct. How different was the conduct of the other 
member of that county ; he would not mention him by name, 
but his grateful country felt his worth — the Knight of Kerry." 1 

O'Connell's second speech was called forth by a 
declaration which arose relative to an amendment 

1 What Mr. Perceval's opinion and policy was, is sufficiently 
evident from the not very elegantly-expressed epistle addressed to 
Lord Eldon, 25th July, 1811 : "I should be prepared to advise a 
prosecution against such an illegal assembly, even if I had more 
doubts as to its illegality, because I feel assured that if the Irish 
Government is to be upheld at all, such an assembly nosing it in its 

A Bold Step. 


condemnatory of the Duke of Richmond, then Lord- 
Lieutenant. It was proposed by Major Bryan, and 
was opposed on the ground of inexpediency. After 
some discussion the motion was carried in a modified 
form. It prayed for inquiry into the circumstances 
connected with Mr. Pole's circular letter, and prayed 
that Mr. Pole might be dismissed, if no justification 
could be found — as well as the Duke of Richmond. 
It was certainly a bold step ; the boldest ever yet 
taken by Irish Catholics. Hitherto they had sub- 
mitted in silence to every oppression, to every 
attempt made to forbid their calling for justice ; for 
such was the mode of government in Ireland, that it 
was forbidden even to petition against a grievance, 
or for the removal of a disability. It was no wonder 
that the growing independence of the nation startled 
narrow-minded statesmen, who were enthusiastic 
admirers of liberty everywhere except at home ! 

Mr. Perceval's line of argument was curious, but 
not altogether without precedent in modern times. 
First, he said he would be prepared to advise a pro- 
secution, because the assembly was illegal ; then he 
said he would equally order it, even if he had only 
" doubts " as to its illegality ; and then he declared 

metropolis cannot be endured ; and that the prosecution will bring 
the question to a fair issue ; for, if the law is not at present strong 
enough to prevent it, it must be made so. And I have no doubt that 
if we take our measures wisely (that is, upon full proof that the 
assembly is truly revolutionary, however its title may be disguised), 
Parliament will see the necessity of putting it down." — Twiss's Life 
of Lord El don. 



Convenient, if not strictly just. 

he would not have these men — men who were many 
of them of the first families in Ireland — "nosing it," 
whatever that might mean, in the Dublin metropolis ; 
then he said that the prosecution would bring the 
question to a M fair issue" — and what a fair issue 
means when Government is on one side and the Irish 
people on the other, is tolerably well known even at 
the present day ; finally, by way of exordium, he 
came to the real pith and marrow of the matter, and 
declared that, if the affair was not illegal, which he 
manifestly doubted, then it must be made illegal. 
This plan of making a law to make an act illegal, 
after the act had been accomplished, was exceedingly 
convenient, if it was not strictly just. Mr. Perceval's 
politics being such, it would scarcely be expected 
that the Irish Catholic nobility and gentlemen, who 
were the objects of his peculiar mode of legislation, 
should be very ardent admirers of his policy. 
In his second speech O'Connell said : 

" I declare, most unaffectedly, that my feelings are much 
interested in the fate of this question. On the one hand, if the 
motion shall pass, it is to be feared that some of our best 
friends may take offence at it ; on the other, should it not be 
acceeded to, it may encourage a supposition that we are pre- 
pared to submit to every species of insult without expressing 
our just indignation. A noble lord and two other gentlemen 
have spoken against it, whose hostility to any measure, in a 
Catholic meeting, must be considered as almost fatal to that 
measure ; but in this case it will be forgotten, at a future day, 
what course of argument they pursued when their opposition to 
the measure will be remembered. No gentleman has, however 
thought of praising Mr. Pole, although some eulogised the 

O'Connell on Wellington. 


Lord-Lieutenant ; none has been so bold as to attempt that 
which would rack and exhaust invention to make it pala- 
table. No, sir ; it has been found necessary to squander the 
public money in purchasing the labours of hireling- prints, and 
their depraved parasities, to bestow diplomatic wisdom on Mr. 
Pole, and military skill on the redoubtable Lord Wellington. 1 
. . . . Any man who could accept office under a Perceval 
Ministry cannot be friendly to your Emancipation. The Duke 
of Richmond came here as a military Lord- Lieutenant, and I 
suppose Mr. Pole as a military secretary, expecting, in all pro- 
bability, that a display of their talents might at some time 
be essential, and particularly amongst the Catholics, as if we 
could be hostile to an army composed entirely of such. The 

1 O'Connell was no great admirer of the Iron Duke. In the first 
place, he believed that he encouraged the Orange faction for political 
purposes ; in the second place, he despised him for his declaration, 
that the only misfortune of his life was his being an Irishman ; and 
he deserved to be despised for it. O'Connell spoke thus of him to 
Mr. Daunt: "I have two faults to find with him — one is, that I 
never yet heard of his promoting any person in the army from mere 
merit, unless backed by some interest ; the second fault is, that he 
has declared that the only misfortune of his life is his being an 
Irishman. There is a meanness, a paltriness in this, incompatible 
with greatness of soul. But abstractedly from sentiment, he may be 
right enough ; for, great as his popularity and power have been in 
England, I have no doubt they would have been infinitely greater if 
ho had been an Englishman. John Bull's adoration would have 
been even more intense and devoted if the idol had not been a 

On another occasion O'Connell said that he had in his possession 
an original letter of the Duke of Wellington's eldest brother, Marquis 
Wellesley, addressed to Mr. Mockler of Trim, in reply to an applica- 
tion which Mockler had made to the writer (who was then Earl of 
Mornington) to procure a commission in the army for his son. The 
brother of the future victor of Waterloo apologises to Mockler for his 
inability to assist him, saying, " that commissions were so hard to 
be got, that his brother Arthur's name had been two years upon the 
list, and he had not yet got an appointment." 


Two Evils to be Deprecated. 

career of his Excellency's life has been a harmless one ; he is 
fond of amusement and the convivial circle ; but I am not sure 
that the qualities are such as the government of Ireland needs 
at this moment, and I defy his panegyrists to produce any 
others. It has been said that the Orangemen are put down, 
but what proof have we for it ? I have been informed that 
a new Orange constitution has been framed within the last 
eighteen months ; if this be true, to what a state will not this 
country be again reduced. Nothing can be more deplorable 
than any association which has a tendency to divide Irishmen. 
Yes, there is to us one thing more deplorable ; and that is any 
measure which may create division among Catholics." 

He concluded by an earnest appeal to Catholics 
not to divide on matters of little importance. " Sir," 
he exclaimed, "what a victory it will be to your 
enemies to put one Catholic name against another 
when you divide." To promote union amongst all 
classes of Irishmen was one of the great objects of 
O'Connell's life ; but he desired, above all, to pro- 
mote union between Catholics. His mind was 
sufficiently large to grasp the difficulties and misap- 
prehensions of others. He knew perhaps better than 
any man living then, and perhaps better than any man 
who has lived since, how fatally Catholic principles, 
both religious and political, are compromised by 

Those who are without the pale of the Church 
cannot understand the political divisions of those 
who are one in faith. A little more consideration, or 
a little less prejudice, might show how these divisions, 
so far from derogating from unity of faith on religious 
subjects, rather enhance it ; but it is difficult to find 

Freedom of Worship Demanded. 341 

men entirely free from prejudice, or of sufficiently 
comprehensive intellect to understand the intellectual 
peculiarities of others. Men who would have gone 
to the stake or the scaffold together joyfully for the 
faith, because it was one — would not perhaps salute 
each other on the street becauso they had political 

This explains what appears phenomenal to Pro- 
testants ; and it explains why, when the faith is 
attacked, men who have been hitherto disunited, 
unite at once in its defence. 

The Catholics were left unmolested for a time ; 
but another attempt was made to dissolve the 
Catholic Committee at the close of the year. It was, 
as we have said, the great effort of Government. A 
meeting was held on the 9th of July in Fishamble 
Street Theatre, at which Lord Fingal took the chair. 

The following were some of the resolutions then 
proposed : 

11 That being impressed with an unalterable conviction of its 
being the undoubted right of every man to worship his Creator 
according to the genuine dictates of his own conscience, we 
deem it our duty, publicly and solemnly, to declare our decided 
opinion and principle, that no Government can, with justice, in- 
flict any pains, penalty, or privation upon any man for profess- 
ing that form of Christian faith which he, in his conscience 

" That we shall, therefore, persevere in petitioning the 
Legislature for a total and unqualified repeal of the penal laws, 
which aggrieve and degrade the Catholics of Ireland. 

" That in exercising this undoubted right by petitioning, we 
shall continue to adhere to the ancient principles of the consti- 


A Triumph to the Catholics. 

tution, and to conform also to the peculiar restrictions which, 
hy modern statutes, are imposed on the people of Ireland." 

It was but the echo of the cry which had been 
uttered for so many hundred years in Ireland — 
" Freedom to worship God." When the demand 
was pealed forth in the harmonious numbers of a 
poet's verse, it called forth tears of sympathy. It 
was very much admired when chanted by the ' 4 Pil- 
grim Fathers," but when it was uttered across the 
channel, it was sternly silenced. 

Proceedings w r ere commenced against several of 
the gentlemen who had attended the meeting ; but 
the meeting was perfectly legal, and after a trial, 
which lasted two days, Dr. Sheridan, who was first 
arraigned, was acquitted. This was a triumph to the 
Catholic party, who were long accustomed to verdicts 
which were certainly not founded on evidence. 

An attempt was then made to bring an action 
against Chief- Justice Downes, who had signed the 
warrant for the arrest of this gentleman, but it was 
wisely permitted to drop. The whole question had 
turned on a word in the Convention Act. Catholics 
were forbidden to assemble " under pretence of peti- 
tioning;" the real object being to prevent Catholics 
from meeting in public as a body for any purpose 
whatsoever. The Catholic Committee were meeting 
for the purpose of petitioning, as every one knew — 
none better than their enemy, Mr. Perceval — but it 
answered the purpose of the prosecution to declare 
that they did not mean what they said. And then 

Government Interference, 


he asserted that a purpose, as well as a pretence was 
implied by the Act, though the Act did not say so ; 
and the Crown counsel was not a little disappointed 
when the traverser was acquitted. 1 

But the Government were not satisfied, and at a 
meeting held immediately after the acquittal of Dr. 
Sheridan, Lord Fingal was forcibly ejected from the 
chair. The proceedings were thus reported in the 
Freeman's Journal. 

" A few liiiiiutes before twelve o'clock yesterday, Counsellor 
Hare, a police magistrate, entered the theatre, Fishamble 
Street, where the Catholic Committee were assembled, and 
took his station beside the chair which was prepared for the re- 
ception of Lord Fingal. 

' 'At two minutes after twelve his lordship arrived; and, 
upon the motion of Counsellor Hussey, seconded by Counsellor 
O'Connell, he was called to the chair. 

4 4 Mr. Hare was about to address Lord Fingal, when Lord 
Xetteiville stood up, and moved that the Catholic petition be 
now read, which was seconded by Counsellor O'Gorman. 

" Mr. Hare now addressed himself to Lord Fingal, evidently 
with a determination to prevent the reading of the petition, 
and persevered until he had accomplished this object. 

11 Mr. Hare. — My Lord Fingal, I beg to state what my 
object is in coming to this meeting. As chairman of this 
meeting, I have to inform you, that I come here, as a magis- 
trate of the city of Dublin, by directions of the Lord-Lieutenant 
(his Excellency having been informed that this is a meeting of 
the Catholic Committee, composed of the peers, prelates, 
country gentlemen, and the persons chosen in the different 

1 " The law pronounces every Catholic to be faithless, disloyal, 
unprincipled, and disposed to equivocate upon his oath until he shall 
have repelled this presumption by his sworn evidence [and even then 
he was seldom believed] in public court." — Penal Laus, p. 326. 


Mr. Hare and Lord FingaL 

parishes of Dublin). I beg to ask you, as chairman of this 
meeting, if that be the case, and what is your object ? 

" Lord Fingal. — Sir, we have met here for a legal and con- 
stitutional purpose. 

"Mr. Hare. — Allow me to observe, that that is not an 
answer to my question ;— perhaps you did not distinctly hear 
me. I ask, is it a meeting of the Catholic Committee, com- 
posed of the peers, prelates, country gentlemen, and others in 
the city of Dublin ? 

" Lord FingaL— I. certainly do not feel myself bound to give 
you any other answer. We are met for the sole legal and con- 
stitutional purpose of petitioning. 

"Mr. Hare. — -My Lord, I ask you, as chairman of this 
meeting, in what capacity are you met ? 

" Lord Fingal.— We are met for the purpose of petitioning 

" Mr. Hare. — My Lord, that is not an answer to my ques- 
tion. I speak deliberately and distinctly, in order that every 
person may hear and understand me. (Here some little con- 
fusion occurred, owing to several persons speaking together.) 
Mr. Hare. — I hope I have leave to speak. (' Hear the magis- 
trate,' from several persons.) I beg leave to ask your lordship 
again, is it a meeting of the Catholic Committee, constituted 
by the Catholic peers, prelates, country gentlemen, and the 
persons appointed in the different parishes of Dublin ? 

" Lord Fingal.— I am not aware that I can give you any 
other answer than that which I have already given. 

" Mr. Hare. — Then, my Lord, your answer is, that you are 
a meeting of Catholics, assembled for a legal and constitutional 
purpose ? 

" From several voices. — No, no ; there was no answer given 
in such terms. 

"Counsellor O'Connell.— It is a most unusual thing for 
any magistrate to come into a public meeting to catechise, ask 
questions, and put his own construction upon the answers. 

"Mr. Hare.— My Lord, am I to understand that you de- 

Mr. Hare and Lord FingaL 


cline answering me fully what meeting you are, and the purpose 
of your meeting ? 

" Lord Fiugal. — "We are met for a legal and constitutional 

"Mr. Hare. — I wish to be distinctly understood: I have 
addressed your lordship explicitly two or three times. Am I to 
understand that you will give no other answer to my question ? 
Do you give no other answer ? (Here some confusion arose, in 
consequence of several persons speaking together — some crying 
out to have the petition read, others calling on Mr. Hay, and 
others requiring silence for the purpose of hearing Counsellor 

" Mr. Hare. — My Lord Fingal, I addressed myself to you 
so distinctly, that I thought my question could not be mistaken. 
I consider your declining to give me a direct answer, as an 
admission that this is the committee of the Catholics of 

" Counsellor O'Connell. — I beg leave to say, that as what 
passes here may be given in evidence, the magistrate has re- 
ceived a distinct answer to his question ; and it is not for him 
to distort any answer he has received into a meaning of his 
own — he is to take words in their literal signification. 

"Mr. Hare. — My Lord, I consider your refusing to give 
any other answer as an admission of the fact of this being a 
Catholic Committee. 

"Counsellor O'Connell. — Sir, if you please to tell gentle- 
men such is your belief, it is of no consequence to us : we are 
not to be bound by your opinion. 

"Mr. Hare. — This is an admission of the fact that this is the 
Catholic Committee ; and I consider your lordship's refusal 

" (Here the meeting was interrupted by the confusion in- 
cidental to a number of persons speaking together.) 

" Mr. Hare. — Does yottr lordship deny that this is the 
Catholic Committee ? 

" Counsellor Finn.— No, no : my Lord Fingal has not given 
you either admission or denial. 


Arrest of Lord Fingal. 

" Counsellor O'Connell. — We do not want the gentleman's 
assistance to make out meanings for us. Let him not imagine 
that the character of this meeting can be affected, or that 
he can bind this meeting by any assertion he thinks proper to 

" Mr. Hare. — Then I repeat that your lordship's refusal to 
give me a direct answer is an admission that this meeting is 
the Catholic Committee, and, as such, it is an unlawful 


" Counsellor O'Connell. — Mr. Hare is now speaking in his 
magisterial capacity, therefore, whatever he says give it atten- 

"Mr. Hare. — My Lord, I say that this is an unlawful 
assembly, and, as such, I require it to disperse. I beg leave to 
say, that it is my wish to discharge my duty in as mild a 
manner as possible. I hope that no resistance will be offered, 
and that I need not have recourse to those means with which I 
am entrusted for the purpose of causing the meeting to disperse. 

" Lord Fingal. — It is not our intention to do anything im- 
proper, or to act in resistance to the laws of the land ; but it is 
my determination not to leave the chair until I am obliged by 
some person to do so, in order that I may bring my legal action 
against the person who shall remove me. 

" Mr. Hare. — My lord, I shall remove you out of the chair ; 
and in doing so, it will be an actual arrest. 

" Here, as might be naturally expected, some confusion 
arose, in consequence of a noise in the gallery, which, we are 
informed, was occasioned by police constables. 

" Mr. Hare.— My Lord, if you'll have the goodness to leave 
the chair, that is a legal arrest. 

" He then took Lord Fingal by the arm and gently pushed 
him from the chair. 

" On the motion of Counsellor 0' Gorman, seconded, by Dr. 
Luby, Lord Netterville was immediately called to the chair, 
from which he was removed by Counsellor Hare, in the same 
way that he had put Lord Fingal out of it. 

An Aggregate Meeting Proposed. 


" There was then a universal cry for Lord Ffrench to take 
the chair. His Lordship, who was in a had state of health, 
either had not arrived, or was not within hearing of those who 
called him to the chair. 

" The Hon. Mr. Barnwall was then called to the chair ; 
hut hefore he had taken it, Lord Ffrench had arrived, and was 
proceeding to his post, when, at the recommendation of Sir 
Edward Bellew, and at half-past twelve o'clock, the meeting 

" After the Catholic meeting had heen dispersed in Fish- 
amhle Street, a number of gentlemen repaired to Mr. D'Arcy's, 
the Crown and Anchor Tavern, Earl Street, for the purpose of 
signing a requisition to call an aggregate meeting of the 
Catholics of Ireland. While the requisition was preparing, 
Counsellor Hare, accompanied by Alderman Darley, went into 
the room where they were assembled, and asked whether that 
meeting was a meeting of individual gentlemen. Being 
answered in the affirmative, and being about to make a speech, 
Lord Ffrench told him they did not want to hear any of his 
speeches, nor would they listen to them ; if lie came there for 
the purpose of acting, that he must proceed without delay. 

" Mr. Hare said that he merely wished to say, that as they 
had acknowledged themselves to be a meeting of individual 
gentlemen, he would not molest them." 

" A Catholic requisition, for an aggregate meeting, to be 
held on Thursday next, at the Theatre, Fishamble Street, has 
been drawn up and signed by upwards of three hundred 

" We have just learned that Lord Fingal interrogated the 
police magistrates after the dispersion of the committee, if he 
was to procure bail to their arrest, and that they deny having 
arrested him /" 

Although news did not travel with telegraphic 
speed at that period, the dispersion of the meeting 
and Lord Fingal's arrest was soon known through the 

Shelley and Emancipation. 

country. It was known also in many English cities, 
where the truth was told by the poet Shelley, who 
was present at the meeting. There were Englishmen 
even then, 1 as there are thank God still, and happily 
their number is increasing, who are capable of view- 
ing Irish subjects from a just stand-point, who do not 
form their opinions on the illogical basis that every- 
thing English must be right and everything Irish 

When Grattan presented the Catholic petition on 
the 31st of May 1811, he did his best, in one of his 
noblest and ablest speeches, to convince English 
senators that it was possible for them to err. He 
told them that they expected "the Author of the 

1 Shelley wrote ''Proposals for an Association of Philanthro- 
pists," for the amelioration of Ireland. He said : "It is my opinion 
that the claims of the Catholic inhabitants of Ireland, if gained to- 
morrow, would in a very small degree aggrandise their liberty or 
happiness. The disqualifications principally affect the higher orders 
of the Catholic persuasion ; these would chiefly be benefited by their 
removal. Power and wealth do not benefit, but injure the cause of 
freedom and virtue. I am happy, however, at the near approach of 
this emancipation, because I am inimical to all disqualifications for 
opinion. It will not add one comfort to the cottager — will snatch 
not one from the dark dungeon — will root out not one vice — alleviate 
not one pang. Yet it is a foreground of a picture in the dimness of 
whose distance I behold the lion lie down with the lamb, and the 
infant play with the basilisk ; for it supposes the extermination of 
the eyeless monster — bigotry, whose throne has tottered for 200 
years. I hear the teeth of the palsied beldam Superstition chatter, 
and I see her descending to the grave. Reason points to the open 
gates of the temple of religious freedom ; philanthropy kneels at the 
altar of the common God. I regard the admission of the Catholic 
claims, and the Repeal of the Union Act as blossoms of that fruit, 

The Irishman and English Laic. 


universe to subvert His laws, to ratify their sta- 
tutes ;" God had commanded us to revere our parents, 
English law commanded and encouraged the Irish 
son to claim his father's estate. u The decalogue 
said, ' Do not steal,' the law, as made for Ireland, 
proclaimed full permission to rob a Catholic." 

English law cruelly oppressed the Irish nation, yet 
English law continued to oppress it " under the vain 
assurance that Providence would work a miracle in 
the constitution of human nature, and dispose it to 
repay injustice with affection, and oppression with 
cordial support." 

The Irishman was to be eminently loyal, but he 
was not to have the benefit of law ; lie was to be an 

which the summer sun of improved intellect and progressive virtue 
are destined to mature. I will not pass without reflection the Legis- 
lative Union between Great Britain and Ireland ; nor will I speak of 
it as a grievance so tolerable or unimportant in its nature as that of 
Catholic disqualification. The latter affects few, the Union affects 
thousands ; the one disqualifies the rich from power, the other im- 
poverishes the peasant, adds beggary to the city, famine to the 
country, multiplies abjectness, whilst misery and crime play into 
each other's hands under its withering auspices. I esteem, then, the 
annihilation of this second grievance as something more than a mere 
sign of good. I esteem it to be in itself a substantial benefit. The 
aristocracy of Ireland (much as I disapprove of other distinctions 
than those of virtue and talent, I consider it useless, hasty, and 
violent not for the present to acquiesce in their continuance) — the 
aristocracy of Ireland suck the veins of its inhabitants, and consume 
that blood in England." 

If we did not kuow the power of prejudice in transmuting ideas, 
it would seem wonderful, and almost incomprehensible, how persons 
with ordinary common sense could fail to see the real cause of Irish 
poverty and Irish discontent. 


Father Dan Hogan. 

ardent upholder of the constitution, but he was not to 
be upheld by it ; he was to rally round the throne 
when it was in danger, but he was never to see the 
face of the sovereign. A tithe of justice was flung to 
him now and then, political or religious, as might be 
most convenient or least inconvenient to those who 
made the laws which they expect him to revere ; and 
when he got this tithe, pitiful as it was, he was ex- 
pected to break forth into paeans of praise and thanks- 
giving for the generosity of his master. If those 
thanksgivings are not uttered, he is pointed out as a 
monster of ingratitude ; if he suggests that he has 
only obtained a small instalment of justice, that jus- 
tice is justice, and that he would like to have a little 
more of it, he is told that, as he is not thankful for 
what has been given to him, he does not deserve 

When O'Connell went on circuit in January 1812, 
he tried to rouse up the spirit of the country. His 
presence was, indeed, looked for in each of the 
southern towns which he visited as a signal for 
public action. He was always specially welcomed 
in Limerick. On his first professional visit to that 
city in 1798, the late Mr. James Blackwell, then 
gaoler of the city prison, retained his services for 
some of the criminals, and it is said his first actual 
practice at the bar was there. 

During his visit to Limerick, O'Connell made the 
acquaintance of a well-known Franciscan friar, Father 
Pan Hogan. The Franciscans had been always re- 

The First Catholic Bell. 


markable for erecting bell-towers, and the good friar 
was no exception to the general devotion of his order 
in Ireland. But at this time the penal laws forbade 
Catholics even the use of an ordinary bell. 1 Father 
Dan, however, was determined to have a bell, and 
consulted O'Connell as to how the matter could be 
arranged without violating the law. It was precisely 
the kind of subject in which O'Connell took the 
warmest interest. He told Father Ilogan that he 

1 " Limerick : its History and Antiquities," by Maurice Lenihan, 
Esq., J.P., M.R.I. A., page 420, Tbis is a work of great value and 
importance, ami should be in every library. We give some extracts 
from a letter written by Sir Arthur "Wellesley to Brigadier-General 
Lee, on the state of Limerick in 1808. This shows how thoroughly 
he understood the country. The letter is dated Cork, 7th July, 
1808. It commences by explaining the duties of a general officer 
commanding a district in Ireland, and shows how entirely the 
country was under military government. "In the first place, the 
situation of a general officer commanding a district in Ireland is very 
much of the nature of a deputy-governor of a county or a province. 
, . . The Government must depend in his reports and opinions 
for the adoption of many measures relating solely to the civil admini- 
stration of the country. It is the duty of every government officer 
to make himself acquainted with the local circumstances of his dis- 
trict, and with the characters of the different individuals residing 
within it." He then proceeds to warn his correspondent of "certain 
circumstances which exist in nearly all parts of Ireland." These 
"certain circumstances" were, that Government was constantly 
deceived by representations about the state of the country, which 
were partially or wholly false ; that the desire to "let a building for 
a barrack," the " desire to have troops in the country," the " desire 
to have the yeomen called out frequently," occasioned representa- 
tions of disturbances which did not exist, or which only existed in a 
very slight degree. Upon these occasions " letter after letter " was 
written to the Government demanding troops. He had recommended 
examining witnesses on oath, but admitted that this remedy was not 
always effectual, " for it frequently happened that the information on 

352 « God help the Poor." 

might erect a cupola at the gable of his own house 
and have a bell there ; and the friar was not long in 
carrying out the plan. On the 1st of June 1809, the 
citizens of Limerick heard a bell calling them to 
mass for the first time within the memory of that 
generation ; yet so great was the fear of Catholics 
lest they should bring down vengeance on their 
heads, that a second bell was not erected until 1814, 
when one was put up in the then parochial chapel of 
St. John. 

On the 6th of July 1812, there was an enthu- 
siastic meeting of Catholics in the Commercial Build- 
ings, Limerick, at which O'Connell spoke : 

" The occurrences of the present day strongly recall to my 
mind a former period of Ireland's misfortune ; and that grave 

oath was equally false with the original representations." All this 
was pleasant for Brigadier- General Lee. There was, however, one 
satisfactory conclusion. His duty was plain. The poor people, 
" who committed outrages and disturbances, might have reason to 
complain," but this was not a subject of consideration for the general 
officer ; he must " support the law, and whoever broke the law must 
be considered in the wrong." This line of action was simple, and 
saved a good deal of trouble. He adds, " Whatever may have been 
the nature of the provocation he may have received" — a man might 
be shot down like a dog by an Orangeman, his family might consider 
that as the law would not punish the Orangemen they might them- 
selves do so ; but no, they were to submit, and be thankful that they 
were not all shot. " Provisions," continues Sir Arthur, " might be 
too dear, rent too high, and the magistrates might not do their duty 
as they ought to the poor ;" no matter, the landlords were to go free, 
the magistrates were to pass uncensured, but the poor, God help 
them ! " were to be brought to justice." This was the advice given 
on mature deliberation by the future Duke of Wellington, as he was 
about to set forth on an expedition to free the continent of Europe 
from the " iron rule" of Napoleon. 

Thanks to O'Connell. 


of Irish prosperity, the Legislative Union gapes before my 
eyes with all its sepulchral horrors ! 

4 4 It is a circumstance, well known to every reflecting mind, 
that the unhappy dissentions, which rent the country asunder, 
might have been suppressed at the beginning, did not that 
statesman called * the great man now no more,' think them 
essentially necessary to bring about his favourite political pro- 
ject, the union of both countries. 

1 1 He watched the evil in its progress and maturity, and 
when the malignant poison of disaffection had mixed with the 
blood of the people, he awoke, as it were from a dream, and 
was alive to all the horrors of the disease. It then became 
necessary to have resort to strong and desperate measures ; and 
before the country had recovered from the shock of civil 
animosities, while the sorrows of the past had fixed the mind, 
and rendered it careless for the future, the Union was proposed, 
and the Union was carried !" 

These observations were received with unbounded 
applause. In Cork he also addressed a meeting. Mr. 
Eneas M'Donnel moved a vote of thanks to him in 
these words : 

" That the thanks of the Catholics of the county and city of 
Cork are most eminently due, and most gratefully given, to the 
independent and indefatigable advocate of Irish rights — Daniel 
O'Connell, Esq. — as well for the brilliant exertions he has 
uniformly made in support and advancement of the Catholic 
cause, as for the undaunted and patriotic spirit with which he 
has defended, at all times and in all places, the Catholic 
character against its calumniators, high and low." 

It might be supposed that such a resolution would 
be passed by acclamation : yet such was the state of 



Thanks to O'ConnelL 

the Catholic body, such the fears of exciting the 
jealousy of those who were its least useful though 
most obstructive members, that it was considered 
wise to let the resolution drop. 


Mullany's Steam Printing Works, 47 Fleet-street, Dublin. 


Abbey, Mount Melleray, and its monks, 629 ; receives O'Connell, 

Act, the, of the 6th George L, repeal of, 145, 146. 
Agitators, the, and the Government, 283. 
Altamont, Earl of, and his associates, 212. 
Alvanlev, Lord, and O'Connell, 612, 613. 

America, English contempt for, 95, 97 ; Chatham on, 96 ; Johnson 
on, 97 ; first Congress, 97 ; Declaration of Independence, 98 ; 
and Ireland, 98 ; appeals to Ireland, 99 ; Irishmen in, 99, 100. 

Anecdotes, Maurice O'Connell and the unshaven soldier, 30 ; Dr. 
Smith and O'Connell's grandfather, 31 ; the 11 Crelagh" receiving 
sentence of death, 39 ; Denis O'Brien and the judge, 40 ; O'Con- 
nell and the Tralee ballad-singers, 41 ; Father O'Grady and 
Denis Mahony, 43 ; Father O'Grady charged with being a 
M Popish priest," 44 ; O'Connell and his sensitiveness to dis- 
grace, 46 ; O'Connell mistaken for an Englishman, 48 ; Louis 
XVI., 68; schoolboy quarrel at St. Omer, 70 ; John Sheares 
and the hangman, 70 ; O'Connells and the tricolour cockades, 84 ; 
Britain beaten by tailors and cobblers, 97 ; Thompson, the Irish 
Secretary of Congress, and Franklin, 99 ; O'Connell and Cousin 
Kane, 113; "had they portable water?" 116; Lord Clonmel 
and bookseller Byrne, 143; "scoundrel enough to die or not, 
as it suits him," 143; " would rather be a chimney-sweeper," 
143 ; Lord Clonmel and the Brolnaduff property, 144 ; the 
honest Protestant barber, 144 ; "the Canny" and the scourges, 
193; Mrs. Leadbetter and the soldiers, 193, 194 ; the "share 
of a pint of whiskey," 202 ; Checkley and the witness to an 
alibi, 203, 204; O'Grady and the noisy court-house, 205; 
O'Grady and the stuffed owl, 205 ; O'Grady and Purcell O'Gor- 
man, 206; O'Gorman convicted of melodious practices, 206; 
lesson in cow-stealing, gratis, 207 ; Jack of the Roads, 208 ; 
O'Connell, Grady, and the corporal, 208, 209 ; Grady and tie 
five soldiers, 210 ; O'Connell and the will case, 249 ; Lord Nor- 
bury and his "racket court," 249 ; his lordship and the case 

( i 

against Sterne, 250; "Ay, give him rope enough," 250; Lord 
Norbury bearded by O'Connell, 251, 252 ; O'Connell and the 
grateful highwayman, 253; O'Connell and the blockhead bank- 
rupt, 254 ; O'Connell and Sergeant Lefroy, 259, 260 ; Lord 
Plunket and the kites, 261 ; Curt ail and Lord Clare, 261 ; Cur- 
ran and Judge Eobinson, 261 ; Croker and the dwarf O'Leary, 
261 ; Croker and Tom Goold, 261 ; O'Connell and Judge Day 
262; Bully Egan, 262; Judge Boyd and Grady, 263; O'Con- 
nell and Baron M'Cleland, 263 ; Parsons and his hatred of 
attorneys, 263, 264 ; Judge Foster and Denis Halligan, 264 ; 
Mrs. O'Connell when a girl, and Hands the jailer, 266 ; " My 
Mary cross ?" 266 ; O'Connell's fondness for his children, 266, 
267; Judge Finucane and the schoolmaster O'Connor, 268, 
269 ; John Keogh and Pitt, 308, 309 ; Captain Grose and the 
butcher, 320 ; Jerry Keller and Baron Smith, 390 ; Jerry and 
Norcott, 390 ; Lord Clare and suicide of Baron Power, 391 ; suicide 
ofCrosbie Morgan, 392; Barnewell and the lottery ticket, 393 ; 
O'Connell and the bank notes, 393, 394 ; O'Grady at the play, 394; 
Parson Hawkesworth and his lady, 395 ; the two brothers and 
Judge Day, 396 ; the eldest brother and the jailer, 397 ; the old 
Dublin Evening Post and the Kerry lad, 398, 399 ; O'Connell's 
power of attention, 404 ; O'Connell and Mr. Hedges Eyre, 404, 
405 ; the physician and his expenses as a witness, 405 ; the 
Duke of Norfolk and Dr. Milner, 425, 426 ; theDukeof Leinster 
and the Jesuits, 429 ; Peel and Dr. Kenny, 429, 430 ; Lord 
Chatham and the English funds, 430 ; Bagenal at seventy-eight, 
433 ; Bagenal and Queen Charlotte, 434 ; D'Esterre with the 
rope round his neck, 436 ; Judge Day and Barney Coile, 440, 
441 ; O'Connell and Major M'Namara, 441, 442 ; O'Connell 
and Jerry MacCarthy, 442 ; O'Connell and George IV., 475; 
Mr. Fox, Mrs. Fitzherbert, and George IV., 476 ; the Duke of 
Wellington and the Beefsteak Club, 479 ; O'Connell and Flood, 
487, 488 ; " very sore at heart," 489 ; Dr. Doyle examining the 
Lord's Committee, 528 ; Lord Anglesea and his life-preserver, 
563, 564; O'Connell and Doherty, 578; O'Connell and the soul 
of Henry VII. , 606 ; O'Connell and the guide at Canterbury 
Cathedral, 607, 608 ; O'Connell and Mr. Kaphael, 616 ; O'Con- 
nell and Sergeant Byan, 631 ; O'Connell and the Ptepealers at 


Cork,*681 ; and the Repealers at Limerick, G81 ; M'Nally ami 
Parsons, G82 ; the Irish priest and the peer, G86 ; O'Conncll 
and Joseph Pease, GOG ; O'Connell and the rising of the nation, 
72G ; O'Connell in prison and the noble lord, 730. 
Anglesea, Marquis of, and Dr Doyle, 527 ; and the monster meeting 
at Ennis, 548; advice to the Catholics, and recall, 5G3 ; his 
unpopularity, 5G3 ; and his stick, 5G4 ; proclamations against 
repeal, 595 ; and the old ascendancv, 595 ; tranquilising Ireland. 

Ant i- Union, the, its chief contributors, 229. 

Aristocracy, the Irish Catholic, moral cowardice, in connexion will; 
the Catholic claims, 434, 435 ; and O'Connell, 4G9. 

Association, the Catholic (the first)* action of Government to suppress, 
331, 332 ; first interference with, 332, 333 ; and Mr. Pole, 33;'-. 
334 ; second attempt to dissolve, 341 ; object of, 342 ; further 
interference with, 343-347 ; (the second) projected, 490 ; its 
organisation, 491 ; first meeting, 492, 493 ; difficulties at first 
in mustering a quorum, 493 ; anecdote of O'Conncll, 494 ; 
budget, 494 ; the principal difficulty connected with it, 495; grand 
aggregate meeting, 497, 498 ; King's speech on, 500 ; bill 
brought in to suppress, 501 ; alarm as to supposed diabolical 
aim of, 501, 502 ; accused of levying an unauthorised tax, 503 : 
Lord Brougham on, 504 ; Edinburgh He view on itfl deputation to 
London, 504 ; a new, formed, 508 ; its programme, 508, 509 ; 
committee of deliberation, 512 ; first great meeting, 513. 

Bagenal, King, his duelling propensities and devotion to good cheer, 

433, 434. 
Bar, the, and the Union, 226-228. 
Barnewell, and the lottery ticket, 393. 
Barrett, Mr., 533, 713. 
Bathurst, Archdeacon, and Repeal, 709. 
Bavaria, King of, letter on O'Connell, G94. 
Beauforts, the, of Waterford, and O'Connell.. 581, 582. 
Bentinck, Lord George, Bill of, 751. 
Beresfords, the, 169, 171, 22G. 
Berkeley on the Irish aristocracy, 384. 

Bill, the coercion, passed, G03 ; Palmerston on, 603 ; compensation 
for, G05. 



Bismarck, and his politics, xxvii. 
Borough-niongering, 219, 220. 
Boyd, Judge, and Grady, 262, 263. 

Bribery, parliamentary, 147 ; of the press, 148, 149 ; by granting 
peerages and money, 151, 152; Grattanon system of, 151, 152, 

Brigade, the Irish, thanks of Louis XVIII. to, 53 ; Duke of Fitz- 

James on, 53 ; and Lord Castlereagh, 53. 
Brunswickers, the, and the Lord Lieutenant, 560, 
Burgoyne, General, letters of, 146, 147. 

Burke, on the state of France, 67 ; at' the debate on the Stamp- 
duties, 91 ; on the Americans, 92, 93; his brother Dick, 116, 
117 ; on relaxing the penal code, 133, 134. 

Burke, William, the Doneraile courier, 576. 

Burton, Judge, 712, 718. 

Bute, Earl of, and George III., 89 ; his administration, 90, 
Butt, Isaac, note by, 701, 702. 

Byron, Lord, on George IV. and his welcome in Ireland, 477. 

Cambkidge, Duke of, on the Irish, 749. 
Camden, " the cold and cruel," 415, 416. 
Canning in power, 514 ; death of, 519. 
Capel, Lord, Viceroy ship, 21. 

Capes, Mr., his article in the Contemporary Review, xvii. ; his preface 
to the life of St. Frances, xviii. 

Caroline, Princess, and the Peeresses, 128 ; as Queen, refused coro- 
nation, 469 ; death and burial, 470, 471. 

Castlereagh, Lord, on the unconstitutional practice of independent 
voting, 223 ; on tenderness towards the Catholics, 243 ; " most 
•private," letter, on the necessity of Catholic support towards 
carrying the Union, 244 ; O'Connell on, 285, 288 ; deliberate 
lie, 325. 

Catholics and their religious rights, xxvi. ; loyalty of, 79 ; the Eng- 
lish Conservative, 80, 81 ; the Irish not Conservative, 81, 82 ; 
the English and O'Connell, 83 ; recognition of, as British sub- 
jects, 121 ; conciliation of, by Government, 125 ; deputation of, 
with address to the King, 164 ; upper classes of, 175 ; and the 
Union, 222 ; resolutions of a meeting of, in Dublin, 232, 233 ; 
systematically deceived, 244 ; and the Government, 270 ; the 


upper class, laity, 274 ; O'Connell on the emancipation of, 278 : 
taught by O'Connell to change petition into demand, 285 ; 
meeting of, in Dublin, to petition, 287 ; of the upper class 
bribed, 307 ; lower and upper classes of, 314, 315 ; persecuted. 
314-31G ; entertaining Protestants, 330, 331 ; addressing the 
Prince of Wales, 334 ; petition for dismissal of Pole, 337 ; dis- 
astrous political divisions among, 340, 341; a triumph, 342 ; 
worldliness among the English, 424, 425 ; and their uncompro- 
mising fidelity to the Church, 4G1 ; their jealousy of concessions. 
4G1 ; fidelity to their oaths, J 05 ; and Government dictation, 
4G8 ; and the English Radicate, 477 ; of the upper class and 
O'Connell, 085 ; English, and O'Connell in prison, 731. 

Chalmers, Dr., on O'Connell, G95, 

Charles I. and his Irish subjects, 119. 

Charlemont, Lord, his conversion, 128, 129 ; his patriotic zeal, 130 ; 
his letter on the Whigs, 135, 186 ; and Northern Whig Club, 

Chatham, 93 ; dying testimony, 96; and the English funds, 430. 
Checkley, the rogue, 203-205. 

Church, Orders of, and the charge of intellectual inactivity, xxxviii. ; 
the Catholic, Conservative, 77, 79 ; Alison on, 77, 78 ; Guizot, 
on, 78 ; clergy of, in France, 80 ; and her teaching, 270, 271 ; 
learning in. 271 ; her priesthood, 272, 273 ; granting of facul- 
ties in, 460. 

Claddagh fishermen, the, xii. 

Clancarty, Lord, and the "miserable" Irish, 540, 547. 

Clare County, O'Connell stands for, 542, 54G ; election agents, 540 ; 

consternation in England, 540 ; Palmerston on the occasion, 

548 ; scene at the hustings, 549, 550; the polling, 551, 552 ; 

return of O'Connell, 552 ; effect of the news in England, 550 ; 

558 ; O'Connell unseated ..nd re-elected, 509, 575. 
Clare, Lord, his views on mixed education at Maynooth, 275, 277 ; 

and Baron Power, 391 ; character, 392 ; opinion of the Catholics, 


Clergy, the Protestant, 272, 273. 

Clergy, the Catholic, and order, 174; and the Union, 220, 222 ; 
the Protestant Bishop of Meath, on, 302, 303 ; soldiers under 
orders, 400, 407 : and the right of administering the last sacra- 
ment, 407; and the Catholic Association, 491, 519. 


Clifford, Lord de, on the Union, 223. 

Clonmel, the Earl of, notices and anecdotes of, 143, 144. 

Club, the Northern Whig, its establishment and political prejudices, 

159, 160 ; Lord Clare's nickname for, 160 ; demise of, 160. 
Club, the Beefsteak, unheard of interference with, 479 ; their 

revenge, 480. 
Cobbett, "William, O'Connell on, 305, 306. 
Coile, Barney, and Judge Day, 440, 441. 
Colchester, Lord, on O'Connell, 505, 548. 

College, Trinity, 33, 34 ; address of students to Grattan, 173, 

Colleges, Irish, on the Continent, 71, 72; at Douay, 72. 
Convention, the Dungannon, 162, 163. 
Commission, the Devon, 741. 

Controversy, the Pope and Maguire, 497 ; O'Connell's remarks at 

the discussion, 497, 498. 
Conway, the traitor, 69, 70. 
Cooke, Dr., challenge to O'Connell, 684. 

Cornwallis, Lord, and state of Ireland, 181 ; and excesses of the 
military, 183, 184 ; accusation against, 184 ; letter of, on Eng- 
lish misrule, to Duke of Portland, 185, 186 ; on government of 
Ireland, 218, 219 ; letter to Bishop of Lichfield on the state of 
Ireland, 219 ; on the agitation against the Union, 228, 229 ; 
letter on behalf of the Catholic peers, 242. 

Council, the common, timidly petitioning for justice, 291. 

Crampton, Judge, 712, 715, 718. 

Crelaghs, the, of Glencarra, and Morgan O'Connell, 38, 39; one of 

at Tralee assizes, 39. 
Crime in England and Ireland, comparative summary of a week's 

397, 398. 

Cromwell, his Irish policy, and its effects, 187, 188. 
Crowley, Peter, the case of, 234, 235. 

Croker, J. Wilson, anecdotes of, 261 ; on government in Ireland, 

Cumberland, Duke of, and Catholic Emancipation, 566. 
Curran, anecdotes of, 261. 

Daly, Old Jehu, 199. 

Darrynane Abbey of, 27, 28 ; House, and its environs, 399, 400. 


Day, Judge, and O'Connell, 253 ; as judge, 2G1, 2G2 ; and Barney 
Coile, 440, 441. 

D'Esterre, bis antecedents, 430 ; quarrel with O'Connell and its 
motive, 43G, 437 ; parading Dublin with a whip, 437 ; letter to 
O'Connell and reply, 438, 439; duel with O'Connell, and death, 
411, 443 ; bis widow, 443. 

Dinglo, address from, and O'Connell's reply, 327-329. 

D'Isracli, and O'Connell, 013; O'Connell on, 013. 014; and 
Morgan O'Connell, 014 ; and bis inextinguishable hatred to the 
O'Connells, 615. 

Doherty, Solicitor-General, threatens to wash his hands of it, 500 ; 
and the Doneniile conspiracy, 57G, 577 ; his conduct brought by 
O'Connell before Parliament, 580 ; appointed Chief Justice, 590, 

Domville, Sir Compton, defeat of, 481, 482. 

Doneraile, alleged conspiracy of the Catholics of, 576 ; O'Connell at 

the trial, 577 ; acquittal of the prisoners, 578. 
Douay, colleges at, 72. 

DoyIp, Dr., sketch of his life and character, 524; extract from 
" Vindication of Catholics," 525, 526 ; examined by a parlia- 
mentary committee, 520-528 ; and his starving countrymen, 597. 

Dublin Evening Post, the old, and the Kerry lad, 398, 399. 

Duel between Alcock and Colclough, 433 ; between O'Connell and 
D'Esterre, 441, 413; between Sir Charles Paxton and Mr. 
Sidwell, 447-449; threatened, between O'Connell and Peel, 447, 

Duelling, the order of the day, 433. 
Daffy, Mr., 713, 728, 729, 738, 749. ■ 

Duggan, John, notice of, and his notes of O'Connell's last illness, 

Dyer, the villain, 445-447. 

Education, unequal advantages of Catholic and Protestant Irish, as 
regards, 33. 

Eldon, Lord, O'Connell on, 278, 324 ; on O'Connell, 500 ; on the 
election of O'Connell, 501 ; on the admission of Catholics to 
Parliament, 5G5, 5G6. 

Ely, charge of the present Bishop of, 303. 

Emancipation declared necessary, 1G3 ; O'Connell on, 278; Shellcv 



on, 048, 349 ; George IV. and, 566, 591 ; Sir Lytton Bulwer 
on the Act, 592 ; insufficient, 593 ; only one act of justice, 594, 
595 ; imminent, 561 ; achieved, 566 ; clause to prevent 
O'Connell taking his seat, 566; the Act disappointing, 587; 
Palmerston and Wellington on, 587 ; reasons why it should 
turn out disappointing, 589, 590. 

England, Church of, in Ireland, 83 ; and her American colonies, 91, 
92; troubles in 1775, 103, 104 ; troubles in 1795-96, 107; 
prestige declining, 538, 539 ; political discontent in 1831, 598. 

Eunis, peaceful gathering at, 548, 549. 

Espionage, Government post-office, 138, 139. 

Eyre, Mr. Hedges, and the Papist rascal, 404, 405. 

FingaLj Lord, and Mr. Hare, 343-346; arrest of, 346, 347. 
Fitzgerald, Bayard, 63. 

Fitzgerald, Lord Edward, his character and politics, 180. 
Fitzgerald, Mr. Vesey, 542, 550, 552, 553. 
Fitzpatrick, Mr. Hugh, Irial of, 406-408. 

Fitzwilliam, Lord, appointment as Lord Lieutenant, and recall, 165, 
166; and Government, 167-169; and the Beresfords. 170. 

Flood, John, his accomplishments and suspicious doings, 486 ; cap- 
tures a smuggler, but contradicts his own evidence in court, 486- 

Foster, Judge, and Denis Halligan, 264, 265. 

Fox, Charles James, on English foreign policy, 64 ; on trial of 
Hardy, &c, 86 ; letter on the evils of Irish administration, 137 ; 
answer to Grattan's letter, 145 ; on the Regency question, 150 ; 
on political liberty, 165; clear ideas of Irish policy, 211, 212, 
215; on the Union, 216; O'Connell's reminiscences of, 238; 
and Prince of Wales, 363 ; Mrs. Fitzherbert and George IV., 

Fox, Mr. Luke, admirable letter of, 224-226. 

France and its leaders during the Revolution, 62, 63 ; described 

socially by Burke, 67. 
Franklin, Benjamin, sketch of his life, 94 ; on a debate in the Lords, 

95, 96. 

Frazer's Magazine on populating Ireland, xiv., on governing Ireland, 

Freeholders, the forty-shilling, 270. 



Friends, Society of, and O'Connell, 695, 696 ; and the Irish famine, 

Fry, Mrs., Archbishop Manning on, 330. 

G.\LWAY,*address to Grattan of the men of, 173. 

Georges, the, 87, 88 ; Ireland under the first two, 373. 

George II. and the sermons at court, 89 ; Ireland under, 373. 

George III., Mr. Harwood's observations on, 15 ; compared with 
Louis XVIII., 65 ; reign, 87 ; his advantages, 88; his Toryism. 
89 ; his first speech and Frederick the Great, 89 ; letter to North, 
104 ; on the demands of America, 105 ; on public business, 
107 ; on Ireland, 107 ; attack on, 109, 110 ; on Irish marquises, 
121 ; on his American subjects, 122 ; speech of, on state of Eng- 
land, in 1792, 164 ; washes his hands, 243. 

George IV., riotous meetings to address, on his accession, 454-456 ; 
pails for Ireland, and dissipation on the voyage, 470 ; his pro- 
gress through Dublin and reception, 471-473 ; end of visit, 474 ; 
and O'Connell, 474, 475 ; and Mr. Fox, 476; fit of spleen, 49Q ; 
and Catholic Emancipation, 566, 591 ; and his revenge on O'Con- 
nell, 591. (See Prince of Wales.) 

Gladstone, Mr., and his newspaper oracles, xx.; and his alleged 
political motives, xxviii. 

Glascock, Toby, and O'Connell, 575. 

Gower, Lord Leveson, O'Connell on, 586, 587. 

Grady, Harry, and the'sragoon, 208 ; cross-examining the five sol- 
diers, 210. 

Grattan, his patriotism, 126 ; early career, 127 ; election to Parlia- 
ment, 127 ; on penal code, 134, 135 ; Fitzpatrick on, 138 ; 
success of his appeal, 145; his address on repeal of the Act of 
6 Geo. I., 146 ; rewarded for his services, 146 ; letter on Irish 
affairs, 152-156 ; on bribery in the Government, 165, 166 ; 
retirement of, 180; O'Connell's opinion of, 236, 237 : on Eng- 
lish legislation versus divine, 348, 349 ; panegyric on, by O'Con- 
nell, 453, 454. 

Grattan, Henry, son of the preceding, 531. 

Gray, Sir John, 713, 714 ; his narrative, 720-724. 

Grenville, his administration, 90 ; and unfortunate resolution, 91. 

Grievances, Irish, English disregard and treatment of, 140, 141. 

Grose, Captain, and the butcher, 319, 320. 



Hamilton, Rev. John, his schemes and accomplices, 444-447. 
Hamilton, Mr. Hans, Jesuitaphobia of, 502. 
Hamilton, Rev. W., case of, and the poor hen-girl, 322, 323. 
Hardy, trial of, 84, 85. 

Hare, Mr., and O'Connell, 344, 345; and Lord Ffrench, 347. 
Hart, Sir Anthony, installation as Lord Chancellor, 489. 
Hawkesworth, Parson, and his lady, 395. 
Henry, Mr. Mitchell, on Justice Keogh, xl., xli. 
Hickson, Mr., 203. 

Hierarchy, the Irish Catholic, loyalty of, 301. 

History, its repetitions of ifrself, 4, 588. 

Hogan, Father Dan, the Franciscan, and his bell, 350, 352. 

Hussey, Mr., on English hostility to the Catholic petition, 364. 

Ignorance, English, of Irish affairs, vii., xxi. 
Independence, Irish, causes of the ruin of, 146-148. 
Infallibility, Protestant, 463, 468. 
Inns in the good old times, 318, 319. 
Intolerance, religious, in Ireland, 44, 45. 

Ireland, Fraser's Magazine on the depopulation and government of, 
xiv., xv. ; under British rule, 64-66, 82, 83 ; effects on policy 
towards, of American War, 120 ; state of, a puzzle to English 
understandings, 142 ; letters on, 142, 143 ; her real and sham 
wants, 143, 144 ; state of, in 1795-96, 172, 173; on the arrival 
of Lord Cornwallis, 181, 186, 187; an appanage of England, 
214, 215 ; the upper classes in, 217; ignorance of its state, 
290 ; division, the curse of, 306, 307 ; a party battle-ground, 
357, 358 ; J. Wilson Croker on government in, 358 ; party 
government in, 358-361 ; under the first two Georges, 373 ; 
under George II., 373 ; under George III., 374, 375; debt to 
O'Connell, 383 ; periodic attempts to convert, 496 ; new era in 
history of, 520 ; the four wants of, 655 ; famine blight, 747, 748. 

Irelanders, the Young, 736, 738, 739, 751. 

Irish, the Protestant, charge against, xxviii., xxix. ; effect of trade 
restrictions on, 19 ; loyalty of, 34 ; and the King of England, 
64 ; the awaking of their national spirit, 136 ; and their 
grievances, 140 ; their political mercies and duties, 349, 350 ; 
driven desperate, 369 ; Mr. Kohl on, 370 ; brutal treatment of 
by the English, 538 ; services of, necessary to Britain, 539 ; 


ingenuous susceptibility, 474 ; unjustly blamed, 476 ; their 
fidelity to the Holy See, 740. 
Irishmen, the United, origin of the society, 161, 162 ; original 
principles, 162 ; Protestant leaders of, and Catholic deputation, 
164 ; Mr. Beresford on, 170 ; and the French Government, 175 ; 
its early leaders, 180 ; fifteen leaders arrested, 181 ; lesson they 
read O'Connell, 247. 

Jack of the Roads, 208, 313, 314. 

Jesuits, the, their distinction among the orders of the Church, 427 ; 

at Castle Browne, and the panic their presence created, 427, 428 ; 

the Duke of Leicester on, 429 ; Peel and, 430 ; the present Sir 

Robert and, 431. 
Johnson, on taxing the Americans, 97. 

Jones, Paul, his capture of the Drake sloop of war, 14, 15; his 
fleet and crew, 15 ; on the coast of Kerry, 15, 16 ; treachery to 
two of his crew, 16; off Flamborough Head, 17; the Irish, 
father and son, 17. 

Judgment, private, right of, English theory and practice, 20. 

Justice, administration of, in Kerry, 40 ; in Ireland, in the end of 
last century, 395-397. 

Kane, Cousin, 113, 114. 

Kelburne, Rev. Mr., his strong language, 162, 163. 

Keller, Jerry, his encouragement of the young O'Connell, 203 ; and 

the burglar, 203, 204 ; and Baron Smith, 890 ; and Norcott, 

the pretender, 390, 391 ; in poverty, 391. 
Kenyon, Lord, 376. 
Keogh, John, O'Connell on, 308, 310. 

Keogh, Mr. Justice, xxx.-xxxv. ; Mr. Mitchell Henry on his Gal way 

judgment, xl., xli. 
Kerry, wrecking and smuggling in, 18; ethics, 19; justice in, 40; 

early enlightenment of, 49 ; travelling in, 199, 200, 207 ; roads 

and hotels, 200. 

Kilmainham, meeting at, 454 ; military called in, 456 ; counter 

meeting, 456, 457. 
Kingsborough, Lord, the eccentric, 237. 

Ladies, the, who locked up their husbands, 506. 
LmdBill, the recent, xxiii. 



Landlords, the absentee, xxiii. 

Landor, Walter Savage, letter from O'Connell, 403. 

Lanigan, Dr., letter on the United Irishmen, 175 ; and the Veto, 

300 ; on Quarantotti's rescript, 426. 
Lawless, Honest Jack, 531 ; and the priest, 559. 
Laws, penal, against Catholics, brief account of, 22-24 ; as regards 

right of tutorship, 35; Burke on relaxing, 133; Grattan on, 

134, 135 ; relaxations under George III., 335. 
Leadbetter, Mrs., testimony of, 192-194. 
Lecky, Mr., essay on O'Connell, viii.-x. 
Lees, Sir Harcourt, the absent-present, 457. 
Legion, the thundering, 34. 
Leinster, Duke of, his declaration, 562. 
L'Estrange, Rev. Mr., on the Catholic regiments, 513. 
Letters of O'Connell to Dr. MacHale, 517, 518, 599-561, 609-611, 

613, 616, 622, 628, 635-639, 642-644, 646, 648, 649, 651-655, 

658-662, 665, 666, 670, 672, 673, 674, 678, 699-701, 741-746 ; 

from Dr. MacHale, 633, 634, 644-646, 650, 651, 662-665, 


Lieutenant, the Lord, of Ireland, 137, 138. 
Londonderry, Lord, on O'Connell and his crew, 612, 616. 
Louis XVI., his heroic demeanour under insult, 68. 
Louvain, college at, 71. 

Lowe, Mr., on the Irish fisheries, x.; a poor Irish fisherman, xi., 

xii. ; speech at Glasgow, xiii. 
Lynch, John, and Usher, 35, 36. 
Lyndhurst, Lord, on the Irish, 617 ; his descent, 617. 

Macaulay on O'ConnelPs trial, 718. 

MacCarthy, poem on the incarceration of O'Connell and the Traver- 
sers, 727-729 ; poem on the death of O'Connell, 772-774. 
• MacCracken, brother and sister, and the faithful Catholic domestic, 
161, 162. 

MacHale, Dr., first letter from O'Connell, 518 ; his family, 520 ; 
professor of dogmatics at Maynooth, 521 ; appointed coadjutor 
Bishop of Killala, his letters, lectures, and learning, 522; still 
a tower of strength to Ireland, 523 ; his health proposed by 
O'Connell, 618; speech on the occasion, 618-622. 

Magee, John, trial of, 408-419. 


Magna Charta, the boast of England, 537. 

Mahon, O'Gorman, 531 ; in tbe House, 532 ; and tbe Sheriff of 

Clare, 549, 550. 
Mahony, Denis, and Father O'Grady, 43. 

Manning, Archbishop, speech of, at International Union Congress, 

Martley, Mr., protected by O'Connell, 251, 252. 
Mary, Black, 91. 

Matbew, Father, and Repeal, 680. 

Maynootb, proposal to establisb, 171, 172 ; question of admitting 

lay students, 275 ; minutes of conversation regarding, between 

Abbot and Kilwarden, 270, 277. 
Meath, the Protestant Bishop of, letter on the Catholic clergy and 

Government, 302, 303. 
Melbourne Cabinet, the, and O'Connell, 012. 
Memory, the glorious and immortal, toast in honour of, 100, 481. 
Miley, Dr., on O'Connell's last forty hours, 704 ; in Rome, with his 

heart, 707 ; on public sympathy in Rome, 768. 
Military, the excesses of, 182-184, 189. 
Mirabeau, propbetic utterance of, 62. 

Mitchel, John, 736, 737 ; on the Liberator after his release, 737. 
Moira, Lord, O'Connell on, 368. 

Montalembert, Count de, and O'Connell, 583, 584 ; Mrs. Olipbant's 

Life of, 584, 594; and O'Connell in his last days, 703. 
Montrose, Duke of, on Ireland, 478. 
Moore, on the Prince of Wales, 363. 
Morgan, Crosbie, expensiveness and death, 392. 
Murders, agrarian, 369, 370. 

Myers, Mr., of Roscommon, his conversion, and the grounds of it, 
24, 25. 

Napier, Colonel, on O'Connell, 628, 629. 
Napoleon I. and English smugglers, 19 ; O'Connell on, 327. 
Neilson, liberal proposal of, 161 ; on the state of the Catholic 
question, 163. 

Nichol, Mrs. Professor, her recollections of O'Connell, 696, 697; 

her collection of O'Connell's autographs, 697. 
North, Lord, 87. 

Norbury, Lord, and his racket-court, 249 ; and the butcher's boy, 



250; O'Connell's description of, 250; bearded by O'Connell, 
251, 252 ; and Barry's trial, 407. 
Norbury, Lord, the murder of, 655, 656. 

Norfolk, the Duke of, the renegade Catholics and Dr. Milner, 425, 

No-Popery cry, the, 360, 361. 
O'Bkien, Denis, and the judge, 40, 41. 

O'Brien, W. Smith, his first appearance, 573, 574 ; and Steele, 574 ; 

and O'Gorman Mahon, 575. 
O'Conal, John, at Aughrim, 29, 30. 
O'Connell, clan, annals of, 31, 

O'Connell, Daniel, his pedigree, 6-8 ; his father's family, 8, 9 ; his 
uncle Maurice, 9; grandfather, 13, 31; father, 13, 14, 18; 
childish memories, 18, 21 ; affection for his mother, 26 ; pride 
of family, 27-29 ; anecdotes of his ancestors, 29, 30 ; date of his 
birth, 32 ; natural character, 36 ; learning the alphabet, 37 ; 
his first schoolmaster, 37 ; fondness for ballads, 41 ; early studies 
and ambition, 42 ; a boyish dream realised, 42 ; thoughts when 
a boy of nine, 43 ; at school, 44, 45 ; recollections of school and 
childhood, 46 ; sent to Liege, 46 ; first acquaintance with Eng- 
land, 46 ; at Louvain, 47 ; at St. Omer's, 47, 49 ; early hatred 
of England, 48, 49 ; opinion of Dr. Stapylton, 51 ; insulted at 
Douay, 51, 52 ; effect on, of what he saw under Beign of Terror, 
52 ; departure from France, 68 ; early companions, 69, 70 ; 
schoolboy quarrel, 70, 71 ; and the Church, 72 ; on the French 
Revolution, 73 ; interview with Owen, 74 ; at Lincoln's Inn, 75 ; 
in Chiswick, 75, 76 ; originally Tory, 77, 83, 84 ; conversion to 
Liberal opinions, 85 ; time of birth, 98 ; witnesses the attack on 
George III., 109, 110 ; fondness for the chase, 111 ; his tem- 
perate habits, 111, 112 ; and Cousin Kane, 113 ; attack of fever, 
114-116 ; first visit to Dublin, 116, 152, 159; a United Irish- 
man, 176 ; joins the Lawyers' Artillery, 176 ; early patriotism 
in 1798, 177-179 ; his account of his illness, 197, 198 ; narra- 
tive of his start on his first circuit, 199-201 ; first visit to 
Limerick, 201 ; his forte, 201 ; cross-examining a witness, 201, 
202 ; quality of his intellect, 202 ; and the pint of whiskey, 202 ; 
and Jerry Keller, 203 ; his lesson in cow-stealing, 207 ; travel- 
ling to London, 207 s ing to Dublin, 207, 208 ; Grady and 


the dragoon, 208, 209 ; first speech, 210, 229-232, 231 ; liberality, 
231 ; extenuation of his rough outspokenness, 231, 236 ; early 
personal appearance, 236 ; on Grattan and his son, 236, 237 ; on 
Pitt and Fox, 238; modesty, 238; on the Union, 289; chival- 
rous conduct on duty, 211 ; a freemason, 215, 216 ; gloomy 
mood, which proved electric, 217 ; lesson in prudence, 217 ; 
saved by his watch, 218 ; the ground of his success at the bar, 
218, 250 ; and the will -case, 219 ; bearding Lord Norbury, 251, 
252 ; and the confirmed offender, 252, 253 ; and the goat- 
stealer, 253 ; and the alleged bankrupt, 251 ; on circuit, 257- 
259 ; and Sergeant Lefroy, 259, 260 ; his bar-anecdotes, 260- 
261 ; professional success, 265 ; fond of children, 266 ; mar- 
riage, 267 ; his search for pikes, 267, 268 ; his chief political 
work, 270 ; comprehensive intellect, 273, 271 ; and the hierarchy, 
274 ; on emancipation, 278 ; on the Veto, 278 ; on W. Pole, 
280, 281 ; on Marquis of Wellesley, 281 ; on Castleroagh, 281, 
282; on the " hitches," 282; and the agitators, 283, 284; 
strikes a new key-note, 285 ; rugged energy, directness, and 
breadth, 286, '287 ; exhorts to united effort, 288, 289 ; speech 
on the Union, 291-297 ; uses the words " Irish King," 297 ; 
recommends publicity, 301 ; on the Edinburgh Review and Wil- 
liam Cobbett, 305,306; honest denunciation, 306; on the 
curse of Ireland, 306, 307 ; attains to leadership, 307 ; on John 
Keogh, 307, 308 ; on the case of Spence, 315, 316 ; in Limerick, 
317, 318, 359 ; his fun, 318 ; affair of honour with Magrath, 
320, 321 ; appearance, 321 ; fame as a barrister, 321 ; and case 
of the poor hen-girl, 322, 323 ; speech at Limerick, in 1812, 
334-336 ; felicity of expression, 326, 327 ; on Irish soldiers and 
Napoleon, 327; address from Dingle, 327, 328; reply, 328, 
329 ; speech at the Catholic-Protestant banquet, 330, 331 ; 
first speech at meeting to propose an address to Prince of Wales, 
334-336 ; second speech, 338-340 ; on Wellington, 339 ; a 
main object with, 340 ; and Father Hogan, 350, 352 ; on the 
Union, 353 ; vote of thanks in Cork, 353 ; on Catholic and Pro- 
testant pledges, 365, 366 ; on the assassination of Mr. Perceval, 
366, 367 ; and the Irish widow, 367 ; congratulations on the 
spread of liberal ideas, 371 ; onihe Veto, 371, 372 ; on securities, 
372 ; on the Orange Society,375-381 ; affection for his wife, 382 ; 
devotion to Ireland, 383 ; and the English Catholics, 383, 384 ; 



style of his speeches, 384 ; Shiel's sketch of, 385, 389; in his study, 
385-386 ; about court, 386-387 ; appearance, 388 ; his demo- 
cratic roll, 388, 389 ; as a raconteur, 389, 390; and the bank- 
clerk, 393, 394 ; at Darrynane — out on hunt, at the table, 400- 
402 ; letter to Landor, 403 ; power of apprehension, story illus- 
trative of, 404 ; and his Orange client, 404, 405 ; and Mr. Lees, 
405 ; examination of Burrows Campbell, and defence of Fitz- 
patrick, 407, 408 ; defence of Magee, 409-419 ; on the panic 
ngainst the Jesuits of Castle Browne, 427-429 ; public thanks 
and presentations, 432 ; offends D'Esterre, 436 ; a man of peace, 
437 ; correspondence with D'Esterre, 438, 439 ; duel with 
D'Esterre, 441-443 ; quarrel with Peel, 447, 448 ; panegyric on 
Grattan, 453, 454; at Kilmainham, 455-457 ; pastoral letter 
for 1821, 458, 459 ; and Shiel, 459, 460 ; and Catholic rights, 
461 ; his letters, 462 ; analysis of Mr. Plunkett's bills, 462, 
465 ; presents George IV. with a laurel crown, 474 ; cursed by 
the King, 475 ; opinion of George IV., 475 ; and John Flood, 
488 ; joke at Plunkett's expense about Hart, 489 ; forms the 
Catholic Association, 490 ; secret of his success, 492 ; dexterous 
and desperate effort to make up a quorum, 493 ; attempt to 
prosecute, 498 ; home joys and sorrows, 499 ; in London, 504 ; 
under examination, 505 ; returns to Ireland, 507 ; increasing 
popularity, 507, 508 ; attack on, for his conduct towards the 
forty-shilling freeholders, 509 ; his good-humoured defence, 510 ; 
going special, 511 ; at Wexford, 511 ; and Mr. Leyne, 511 ; 
and the formation of the new Association, 512 ; commencement 
of correspondence with Dr. MacHale, first letter, 517, 518 ; and 
the Waterford election, 540, 541; address to the electors of 
Clare county, 542-546 ; on the hustings, 550 ; at the poll, 551 ; 
return, 552 ; chaired at Ennis, 555 ; an irritation to the 
authorities, 560 ; king to four millions, 561 ; refused a seat, 
in the House, 567 ; pleads his right to sit, 568; refuses to take 
the oath of supremacy, 569 ; writes a second address to the 
electors, 569 ; the Times on his exclusion, 570 ; high spring of 
action, 571 ; reception in Clare, 572; his tact, 573; and the 
forty-shilling freeholders, 573 ; and Toby Glascock, 575 ; re- 
election for Clare, 475 ; seeks rest, but cannot find it, 576 ; and 
nccused Catholics of Doneraile, 576-578 ; a voracious eater, 577 ; 
and the Beauforts of Waterford, 581, 582; letters to the people 


of Ireland, 583-585 ; nominated King of Belgium, 583 ; and 
Montalembert, 583, 584 ; bis motto, 585 ; a power in the Eng- 
lish Parliament, 585 ; O'Doherty and Lord Leveson Gower, 586 ; 
587; and George IV. again, 591, and the Whigs, 592; arrest 
of, 598 ; and the Hervey rioter, 602 ; his parliamentary arrivals, 
603 ; his household brigade, 604 ; on the Whigs, 604 ; and the re- 
porters, 605 ; moves for repeal, 606 ; at Westminster Abbey, 606, 
607 ; at Canterbury, 607 ; on Westminster and St. Paul's, 608 ; 
influence in the House, 611, 612 ; and the Melbourne Cabinet, 
612 ; and Disraeli, 613-615 ; and Mr. Raphael, 616 ; at a banquet 
at Tuam, 618 ; returned for Kilkenny, 628 ; makes a retreat, 629 ; 
reception at Mount Melleray Abbey, 632 ;~and Mr. Villiers Stuart, 
633 ; entertained in London, 639 ; speech on the occasion, 640 ; 
refuses the Chief Baron's seat, 641 ; on the four wrongs of Ire- 
land, 655 ; and the Tories, 656 ; proposes repeal, 660 ; founds 
the Repeal Association, 678 ; in 1840 and 1843, 680 ; and his 
beagles, 681 ; at Cork and Limerick, 681 ; his travelling com- 
panions on Repeal, 682 ; at Ennis and Kilkenny, 682, 683; a 
month's Repeal engagements, 683; at Mullingar, 683; might 
have been king, 684 ; on the franchise in Ireland, 684 ; in Bel- 
fast, 685 ; unseated at Dublin, 686 ; and steam, 687 ; elected 
Lord Mayor, 687 ; first day in court, 688 ; and his official 
chain, 688 ; defence against Lord Shrewsbury, 688-690 ; on the 
threat of Peel, 692; at Tara, 693 ; at Mullaghmast, 694 ; fame 
on the Continent, 694, 695 ; in Flugel's Dictionary, 695 ; and 
the money market, 695 ; and the Society of Friends, 695, 696 ; 
daily habits, 697 ; at Coventry, 698 ; member of the Order of 
St. Joseph and Mary, 698 ; mysterious proclamation and coun- 
ter-proclamation of a meeting at Clontarf, 705, 706 ; rumours 
of an indictment — shows signs of fear, 760 ; dread of imprison- 
ment, 707 ; indictment served, 707; address to the people of 
Ireland, 708 ; and Joseph Sturge, 709 ; goes down to Darry- 
nane, 709 ; returns to Dublin, 710 ; is escorted to the trial, 711 ; 
at the bar, 715 ; in the House, 716 ; escorted to prison, 720 ; 
in prison, 720-724 ; gives and refuses audiences, 729-731 ; 
receives addresses, 731, 732 ; free, 733 ; concludes a novena, 
737; ovation and rejoicings on his release, 735, 736; first 
troubles of his old age, 736; and Mr. Porter, 739; and the 
Papal brief, 740 ; grief for death of Davis, 747 ; at Cashel, 747 ; 



on the scientific famine commission, 747, 748 ; attacked in the 
Times, 748 ; and the Duke of Cambridge's suggestion, 749 ; 
leaves Ireland, 750 ; hears bad news from home, 750 ; seriously 
ill, 751 ; in England, 752 ; goes through France, 753 ; his 
appearance and condition at this period, 753, 754 ; public 
sympathy, 754, 755 ; at Genoa, 755 ; his attendant, 756 ; last 
days, 756-762 ; Montalembert's condolencies, 763 ; Dr. Miley's 
account of, 763, 764 ; account of Times' correspondent, 764 ; 
death, 765 ; the faithful round his bier, 766 ; his heart, 767 ; 
funeral obsequies, 767, 768; funeral eloge, 769-771; remains 
sent home, 771 ; MacCarthy's poem, 772-774. 

O'Connell, Maurice, 47 ; at school, 51. 

O'Connell, Daniel, Count, 10-13, 54-58. 

O'Connell, John, of Ashtown, 30. 

O'Connell, John, son of the Liberator, 707, 712, 727, 751. 
O'Connell, Morgan, family of, 8, 9, 13, 14, 18 ; and the Crelaghs, 
38, 39, 

O'Connell, Morgan, son of the Liberator, and D'Israeli, 614, 615. 
O'Connell, uncle Maurice, 9 ; and his nephew's education, 50, 51 ; 

and politics, 247. 
O'Connell, Mrs., 265, 266, 382, 383. 
O'Connor, Mr. Fergus, and the piper to pay, 604. 
O'Connor, the schoolmaster, and Judge Finucane, 268, 269. 
O'Gorman, Mr. Purcell, anecdotes of, 205, 206. 
O'Grady, Father, anecdotes of, 43 ; capital charge against, 44. 
O'Grady, Judge, anecdotes of, 205, 206. 
O'Grady, Standish, at the play, 394. 
O'Hagan, Mr. (now Lord), 713. 

Orangemen, the origin, principles, and early outrages of, 172, 173, 
313, 314, 316 ; the merely political existence of, 369 ; increase 
and intolerance, 370, 371 ; O'Connell on the system, 375 ; on 
the origin of the system, 376, 377 ; original oath, 378 ; charac- 
ter of the Association, 379-381 ; came off with the lion's share, 
478 ; patronised by Wellesley, 478 ; favourite toast, 478 ; denun- 
ciation of the Pope and O'Connell, 479 ; and Wellesley, 479 ; 
intimidation of Government, 480 ; intolerance of, 481 ; their 
political ascendancy shaken, 541 ; impossible to tranquilize, 

Ostrich egg, the, laid in America, 100. 


Outrages, agrarian, the priests to blame, 444. 
Owen, Robert, interview with O'Connell, 74. 

Paine, Thomas, to the memory of, 160. 

Palmerston, Lord, on O'Connell, 505 ; on the Ennis gathering, 548 ; 
on granting Emancipation, 587 ; on Wellington and the Catholic 
question, 590. 

Parliament, the Irish, its composition and interests, 117, 118 ; 

address of, to the Prince of Wales, 150, 151 ; in articulo mortis, 

152 ; a simulacrum merely, 212, 213. 
Parsons and old Leonard, G82. 
Parsons, Mr., his dislike to attorneys, 263, 2G4. 
Peasantry, the, and the landlords, 370. 
Pease, Joseph, and O'Connell, G96. 

Peel, Sir Robert, Dr. Kenny, and the Jesuits, 429, 430, 432 ; 
threatened duel with O'Connell, 447, 448; and his armed con- 
stabulary, 449 ; on the Irish, G03 ; in office, G80 ; and Repeal, 
692 ; fear of insurrection, 740, 741. 

Peel, Sir Robert (the present baronet), the Communists and the 
Jesuits, 431. 

Peers, the Irish Catholic, 270. 

Pennefather, Baron, 576, 578. 

Pennefather, Chief-Justice, 711, 712, 715, 718. 

Perceval, Mr., and Catholic Association, 332, 342 ; O'Connell on, 
335 ; policy, 336, 337 ; his curious line of argument, 337, 338 ; 
assassination, 361, 362 ; O'Connell on the event, 366, 3G7. 

Perrin, Judge, 712, 715, 718. 

Philpotts, Henry, on the Clare election, 557, 558 ; suggests a wily 
plan, 558. 

Physician, the, and his unfortunate patients, 405. 

Pitt, Mr., his Irish policy, 166, 167, 170; and the Union, 211 ; 
and parties in Ireland, 213; and the masses in Ireland, 214; 
one object of his policy, 214 ; and the upper classes in Ireland, 
217 ; O'Connell's reminiscences of, 238 ; duplicity, 244. 

Plunkett, Lord, and the kites, 261. 

Plunkett, Mr., and the Union, 227, 228 ; and the Catholics, 460, 
461 ; his bills criticized, 462-465 ; looking sore at heart, 

Pole, Wellesley, O'Connell on, 280, 281 ; attack on the Catholic 



Association, 331, 332 ; interference, 333 ; O'Connell on, 335, 
336, 339. 
Politicians, 589. 

Politics and religion, xxvii., xxviii. 
Pope, the authority of, xxviii. 
Popery, official account of its main tenets, 428. 
Portland, Duke of, his administration, 135 ; his concessions, 145, 

Power, Baron, suicide of, 392. 
Press, the bribery of, 148, 149. 
Protestants, the, and religious liberty, 132. 
Purcell, the inexorable, 493. 

Quarantotti's rescript, 426. 

Question, the Education, xxx. ; the Regency, 149, 150. 
Ray, Mr., 534. 

Rebellion, the Irish, its nature and causes, 61-67; and the revolu- 
tionary spirit, 69; a Protestant movement, 122 ; the embers of, 

Rent, the collecting, 495. 

Repeal, movement for, 289 ; first agitation for, 592 ; and the upper 
classes, 292; a national movement, 292, 293; and the trades' 
corporation, 293 ; one bar to, 296, 297 ; petition for, 297, 299. 

Repeal Association founded, first meeting, 678 ; discouraging com- 
mencement, 679 ; success afterwards, 680 ; membership and 
Volunteer card, 690, 691. 

Representation, parliamentary, in Ireland, 127 ; in theory and in 
fact, 540. 

Rescript, the Papal and the Irish, 740. 

Resolutions, the " witchery," 364 ; O'Connell's speech on the, 366- 

Review, Edinburgh, on the Catholic religion, 74 ; O'Connell on, 305 ; 

on the Association, 504. 
Review, Dublin, 641, 642, 646-648. 

Revolution, the French and the Irish Rebellion, compared and con- 
trasted, 61-67; O'Connell on, 73; anniversary of, 1791, 160. 
Rinuccini, MS., the, on Kerry, 49. 
Riots, the Gordon, 106. 


Riots, Anti-Tithe, and the military, 601 ; trial of rioters at Hervey, 

Rockingham, his administration, 91 ; and address to Prince of 

Wales, 150, 151. 
Roden, Lord, moves for a select committee, 657. 
Rosse, Earl of, of the one idea, 362. 

Russell, Lord, John, on the Western Powers, in 1703, 165 ; on the 

trial of O'Connell, 717. 
Ryan, the sergeant, and O'Connell, 631. 

Sandwich, Lord, on the Americans, 93. 

Saurin, Mr., and the Union, 227; and Mr. Scully, 406, 107; his 

prosecution of Magee, and O'Connell's reply, 408-419. 
Schools, Charter, their establishment and character, 33-35. 
Schoolmasters, the hedge and itinerant, 35. 
Scully, Mr., 406. 

Shackleton, Mr., and his establishment, 191, 192. 
Shane's Castle regulations, 112. 

Sheares, the two, and their republican fervour, 68, 69 ; their 

patriotism, 69 ; fatuity, 70. 
Shelley on Emancipation, 348, 349. 
Sheridan, C, letter of, 129. 
Sheridan, Dr., 342, 343. 

Shiel, attack on O'Connell, 459, 460; co-operation with O'Connell 
in projecting the Catholic Association, 490; his caution, 492; 
speech, 513, 514; his physique, eloquence, and appearance, 
529 ; treasonable speech, 530 ; under a cloud for a time, 530 ; 
a repealer, 530 ; at the Clare election, 553-555 ; and Lord 
Althorpe, 606 ; "Richard's himself again," 710. 

Shrewsbury, Lord, attack on O'Connell, 688. 

Sidmouth, Lord, on O'Connell, 507. 

Sirr, Major, and O'Connell, 177, 178 ; and anti-Union meeting in 

the Dublin Exchange, 229, 230. 
Society, the Precursor, 648. 

Speech, the King's, for 1825, 499, 500 ; for 1829, and the sensation 

it produced, 564, 565, 
Spence, Patrick, case of, 315, 316. 
" Squire, the Sham," 143, 144. 

Standard, the, on the Pope, and his resort to prayer, 431. 



Stapylton, Dr., and the young O'Connells, 51. 
Star, Brunswick, and O'Connell, 571. 
Steam, and the Irish question, 687. 

Steele, the head pacificator, 532, 533 ; goes down to Limerick with 

white flag, 683 ; courts prosecution, 707. 
Sfcurge, Joseph, approval of O'Connell, at the time of his indictment, 


Sully, maxim of, on national revolts, 67. 
Suspected, list of the, 182. 

Taea, Eepeal meeting at, 693. 
Tenants, the Irish, xxiv., 217. 
Thiers, M., O'Connell on, 73. 

Times, the, on O'ConnelPs exclusion from the House, 570 ; and 

O'Connell in 1829, 581, 582; attacks O'Connell, 748. 
Tone, Wolfe, Shiel on, 530. 
Took'e, J. Horne, 85. 

Trade, Irish, jealousy of, 122, 123, 125 ; " Free or this," 126 ; with 
colonies declared free, 126. 

Travelling, in 1780, between Kerry and Dublin, 318. 

Traversers, the indictment of, 709 ; sketches of, 712, 715 ; escorted 
to prison, 719 ; in prison, 720-724, 726, 728. 

Trials, the monster, special jury at, 709, 710 ; commencement, 710 ; 
the judges, the Traversers, and the counsel, 711-715 ; conclusion 
and verdict, 715, 716; sensation at the result, 716; the sentence, 
718, 719; judgment reversed, 733; the arrival of the news in 
Dublin, 733. 

Union, the, formally declared, 211 ; supposed advantages of, 214, 
215 ; and the clergy, 220 ; facilities for effecting, 223 ; Lord de 
Clifford on, 223 ; and the bar, 226, 228; A. Young on its pro- 
bable effects, 235 ; O'Connell on, 239, 294-297, 353 ; social 
effects of, 289-291 ; how secured, 291, 294 ; after ten years, 
293 ; its real cause, 295 ; deceitful nature, 295, 296. 

Vandaleuk, Mr., and his tenants, 552. 
Vendee, La, during the Kevolution, 65, 66. 
Ventura, Father, eloge on O'Connell, 769-771. 
Veto, the object in pressing, 276 ; the Irish bishops, and, 277 ; 


English Catholics and, 277, 278 ; O'Connell on, 278-280, 371, 
372 ; resolutions of the bishops on, 299, 300 ; its one object, 

Volunteers, the, in Belfast and the Government, 124, 129, 130 ; 
spirited resolutions of, 131, 132 ; feared by Government, 146, 
147; suppressed, 147; uniforms of, 176. 

Wales, Prince of, address to, of Irish Parliament, 150 ; of the 
Catholics, 334 ; supplanted by Pitt, 335 ; Catholic faith in, 362 ; 
O'Connell's opinion of, 362 ; Fox and, 363 ; Moore on, 363. 
(See George IV.) 

Warren, Sir Peter, on the Americans, 93. 

Washington, on the colonists, 95. 

Waterford, the election, and its effects, 510, 541 ; Lord and his 

huntsman, 541. 
Watson trial, the, and tbe English jury, 449, 450. 
Wedderburn, 93. 

Wellesley, Marquis, O'Connell on, 281, 324 ; appointed Viceroy, 
477 ; professed friend of the Catholics, patron of the Orangemen, 
478 ; his marriage, 478 ; and the Beefsteak Club, 479, 480 ; 
his life threatened, 480. (See Wellington). 

Wellington, regulations for general officers in Ireland. 351, 352; 
and Dr. Doyle, 528 ; on the Catholic troops, 556, 557 ; his letter 
to Dr. Curtis, 562, 563, 564 ; alleged policy, 564 ; on Catholic 
Emancipation, 587, 588. 

Westminster, Canterbury, and St. Paul's, 606-608. 

Westmoreland, 11 the profligate and unprincipled," 414, 415. 

William III. and his milliner, 369. 

William IV. and his anti-Irish fervour, 604. 

Wilson, Professor, charge against O'Connell, 629. 

York, Duke of, his " so-help-me-God" speech, 499, 500. 



j"flS j^lFE AND "J^ I yVl 







Ai\ T D T IMES, 












u My Dear Sister in* Cimisr — I learn that you are issuing 
some ue\v works, and some new editions of those already published : 
your literary labours reflect honour on your Convent, on your Order, 
and on this Diocese. 

i( But I rejoice much more in this, that you are contributing to 
snpply one of our greatest needs — a Catholic Literature. I know, 
too, that the funds realised by the sale of your works are exclusively 
devoted to the service of religion. 

•'Praying God to bless you, and to preserve your health and 
strength, yours sincerely in Christ, 


" To Sister If. Francis Clare, 

11 Convent of Poor Clares, Kenmare, Co. Kerry." 




A Complete Catalogue of the Kenmare Publications can be had from the 
Clerk, Kenmare Publication Office, Kenmare, Co Kerry, Ireland, from 
u-hom also any of the above works can be ordered. 




" To our Beloved Daughter, in Christ, Mary Francis Clare, 
of the Sisters of Saint Clare, Kenmare. 

" Beloved Daughter in Christ, Health and Apostolic Bene- 
diction. — We congratulate you, beloved daughter in Christ, on 
having completed a long and difficult work which seemed to be 
above woman's strength, with a success that has justly earned 
the applause of the pious and the learned. We rejoice, not 
only because you have promoted by this learned and eloquent 
volume the glory of the illustrious Apostle of Ireland, St. 
Patrick, but also because you have deserved well of the whole 
Church ; for in recording the actions of so great a man you 
have placed before the eyes of the world the benefits received 
through the Catholic religion so clearly, that they can no longer 
be questioned. For not only did he bring the light of faith to 
a people that sat in darkness and the shadow of death, but he 
reclaimed and civilised their wild and barbarous customs, so 
that the island became entirely changed, and was justly styled 
the Island of Saints. The clergy appointed by him throughout 
the land, together with being remarkable for faith and piety, 
devoted themselves also to the study and advancement of 
science. And when the rest of Europe was wasted by bar- 
barous hordes, and overpowered with ignorance and darkness, 
your country was the sure refuge of literature and scholarship, 
and received with welcome the youth that crowded to her 
shores, and sent out very many men, most distinguished for 
learning and piety, to be the apostles of various nations. Now, 
for so great a gift, Ireland was indebted to this Apostolic See, 

because St. Patrick taught no other faith except that which 
was handed down here ; and which, from the very beginning of 
Christianity, having raised up the nations that were enslaved 
by superstitions and error, and sunk down in the foul mire of 
sensual indulgence, bound them together in love, and reduced 
them to those habits of life which are worthy of man's dignity. 
While these facts refute most clearly the false charges of 
ignorance, darkness, and opposition to progress which are not 
unfrequently brought against the Church and this Holy See, 
the 'Life of St. Patrick,' as written so carefully by you, has 
the further merit of pointing out this benefit to every one, and 
the more forcibly and effectively because this result flows 
naturally from the narrative. But as we look with wonder at 
the abiding fruits of this most holy prelate's mission, evidenced 
by the constancy of your nation in the faith, never shaken by 
persecution, violence, fraud, or affliction, for so many ages, we 
have every ground to trust that this most pious people will be 
still more encouraged to tread in the footsteps of their ancestors, 
by having placed before them anew the memory of former 
glorious deeds. We certainly augur this successful issue from 
your labour ; and at the same time we impart to you and to 
your Sisters, most lovingly, the Apostolic Benediction, as an 
earnest of God's favour and a p'edge of Our good will. 

" Given at Rome, at St. Peter's the 6th October, 1870,. 
the Twenty-Fifth year of Our Pontificate. 

"PIUS P.P. IX." 

The Latin original of this letter can be seen at the Convent of Poor Clares, 
Kenmare, Co. Ktrri/, Ireland. 

J^ist of Jllustf\ations 


Frontispiece— O'Connell's last look at the Irish Shore, 750 
o'connell at tara, ....... 357 

O'Connell's Address from the balcony in Merrion-square, 423 

Duel between D'Esterre and O'Connell, . . . 441 

O'Connell's Statue in Limerick, . . . . . 453 

O'Connell leaving Kingstown . . . . .486 

Portrait of Dr. MacHale, . . . . . .518 

The Triumphal Car, . - . . . . . .538 

O'Connell in Henry VII.'s Chapel, . . . . 582 

Mount Melleray Abbey, ....... 632 

O'Connell at St. Mary's Hall, Coventry, . . . 669 

State Trials — The Lord Chancellor giving Judgment, . 717 

Dinner Party in Jail — " The Rising of the Nation." . 726 

O'Connell's Release from Jail — Triumphal Car passing 

the Bank, . . . . . . . . 735 

Monument to O'Connell in Rome, ..... 772 

Memorial Tower in Glasneyin Cemetery, . . . 774 



vol. n. 



English Administration of Irish affairs — Party Rule — pages. 
No-Popery cry — Assassination of Mr. Perceval — The 
Prince of Wales — The Witchery Resolutions — Speech 
— The Orange Faction — The Landlords and the 
Tenantry — Effective Speech — Denunciation of Orange - 
ism— A National Debt — Style of Speech — At his 
Zenith — As a Raconteur — Anecdotes of Jerry Keller 
and Lord Clare — Parson Hawkesworth — Administra- 
tion of Justice — The Dublin Eveniny Post — At Home 
— Letter to Landor — Trial of John Magee — The Pro- 
secution and Prosecutor — The Reply, . . 357-419 



The English Catholics— The Duke of Norfolk and Dr. 
Milner — Castle Browne and the Jesuits — Peel and Dr. 
Kenny — Public Honours — Duelling and Duellists — 
The Irish Catholic Aristocracy — D'Esterre, his Chal- 
lenge and Fatal Duel — Agrarian Outrages — Rev. John 
Hamilton, his Plots and Tools — Affair of Honour with 
Peel— Peel's Gift to Ireland, . . . 423^450 



Panegyric on Grattan — Outrage at Kilmainham — Harcourt 
Lees — "Pastoral Letter" for 1821 — First Appear- 



ance of Shiel — Mr. Plunket — Analysis of Mr. Plunket's 
Bills — Spiritual Functions and Freedom of the Clergy 
— Protestant Bigotry — George IV. and Queen Caro- 
line — Royal Visit to Ireland — Loyal Reception at 
Dublin — The Irish People — Presentation of O'Connell 
at Court — Irony of Lord Byron — Wellesley and his 
Irish Policy — Orange Orgies — The Beefsteak Club in- 
terfered with, and its Revenge — Wellesley and the 
Orangemen — A Catholic Triumph, . . . 453-482 



Flood and Connor — Cross-examination of Flood — Plunket 
and Hart — Formation of Catholic Association — 
Priests and People brought into Action — First Meet- 
ing — The Inexorable Parcell — The Penny-a-month 
Scheme for Liberating Ireland — Grand Aggregate 
Meeting — The Conversion Mania— The Pope and 
Maguire Controversy — Abortive Prosecution of O'Con- 
nell— The Duke of York's " So-help-me-God " 
Speech — The King's Speech and the Association — 
Lords Liverpool and Brougham — O'Connell in Lon- 
don — Lords Palmerston and 'Eldon — The Ladies — 
O'Connell's Popularity — Aims of the Association — 
Another Challenge — Shiel — Canning, . . 485-514 



Commencement of Correspondence with Dr. MacHale — 
Priestly Co-operation — A New Era — Sketch of Dr. 
MacHale's Life— Sketch of Dr. Doyle's Life— His 
"Vindication of Catholics" — Dr. Doyle and the 
Lord's Committee — Honest Jack Lawless — Henry 
Grattan — Mr. 'Gorman Mahon — Scene in the 
" House "—Steele— Mr. Barrett— Mr, Ray, . . 517-534 




KING DAN. 1825-1829. 

England's answer to Ireland's Cry for Justice — Decline 
since the days of Henry YIH. — Ireland a Necessity 
for England — A Catholic Triumph — Address to the 
Catholics of Clare — Excitement and Agitation — Con- 
sternation in England — Monster Meeting at Ennis — 
Scene at the Hustings, the Sheriff and O'Gorman 
Mahon — The Voting Day — Mr. Vandaleur and his 
Tenants — Return of O'Connell — Speech of Shiel — 
The Chairing — Excitement in England — The Bishops 
and Priests — Official Irritation — King Dan — The 
Leinster Declaration — Letter of Wellington — The 
Emancipation Bill Passed — O'Connell's Right to a 
Seat Disputed — At the Bar of the House — Re-Elec- 
tion—Smith O'Brien— Enthusiasm, . . . 537-578 



The Waterford Election — Montalembert and O'Connell — 
Letters to the People of Ireland — Lord Leveson 
Gower — Palmerston and Wellington — History and 
Politics — The Emancipation Act not followed by the 
Millennium — Exasperation of the Orangemen and 
Distress among the Peasantry — Temporary Arrest of 
O'Connell— Letter to Dr. MacHale— Anti-Tithe Riots 
— In Parliament — Lord Althorpe and Shiel — O'Con- 
nell's Motion for Repeal — Cathedrals — Letter — Mel- 
bourne and O'Connell — Disraeli and the O'Connells — - 
Letter — Lyndhurst's Attack on the Irish — Banquets — 
Speech of Dr. MacHale — Letter — O'Connell under- 
takes a Retreat — Reception at the Abbey — Letters — 
Entertained in London — Defies the House — Letters, . 581-666 





The Repeal Movement Projected — Correspondence, ex- 
plaining Ideas and Plans with Dr. MacHale — Repeal 
Association formed — Discouraging Start — Repeal 
Meetings in the South and North — General Election, 
O'Connell Unseated — Elected Lord Mayor of Dublin 
■ — Attacked by Shrewsbury — The Repeal Year, par 
excellence — The Association, Terms of Membership 
and Card — Peel and Repeal — Monster Meetings at 
Ennis and Mullaghmast — European Fame— O'Connell 
and the Society of Friends— Letters to Dr. MacHale, 669-702 



Clontarf — Excitement in Dublin — Indictment of O'Con- 
nell — Sensation — Forebodings — Address to the 
People — Condolences — Joseph Sturge — The Trial — 
Notices of the Judges, the Traversers, and the counsel 
in the Case — Charge of the Chief-Justice — The Ver- 
dict — O'Connell in the House — Excitement over the 
Country — The Sentence — Incarceration — First Day of 
Imprisonment — Respect shown the Prisoners — Dinner 
Parties and Bon-Mots — MacCarthy's Poem — Gives 
and Refuses Audiences — Reversal of Judgment and 
Liberation — Ovation — Home- Shadows — The Young 
Irelanders — Rescript from Rome — The Famine — Bids 
Farewell to Ireland — Hopes to Die at Rome — Diary 
of his Servant — Montalembert's Condolence — Last 
Hours — Death in Peace — The Faithful round the Bier 
— Funeral Obsequies and Eloge — " The Dead Tri- 
bune," .... . 705-774 



English Administration of Irish Affairs: Party 
Rule: No-Popery Cry: Assassination of Mr, 
Perceval: The Prince of Wales: The Witchery 
Resolutions: Speech: The Orange Faction: The 
Landlords and the Tenantry: Effective Speech: 
Denunciation of Orangeism: A National Debt: 
Style of Speech: At his Zenith: As a Racon- 
teur: Anecdotes of Jerry Keller and Lord 
Clare: Parson Hawkesworth : Administration of 
Justice: The Dublin Evening Post: At Home: 
Letter to Landor: Trial of John Magee : The 
Prosecution and the Prosecutor: The Reply. 

vol. n. 


REL A N D always was, 
and we suppose always 
will be the grand battle- 
ground of English admi- 
nistrations. If Ireland 
shall ever become politically an 
integral portion of the British Empire, if a 
time shall ever arrive when there will be 
no Irish question, honourable members in 
Opposition would be surely at a loss to 
find another happy hunting-ground for poli- 
tical grievances. Such a state of things 
would be only regretted by those who, 
consciously or unconsciously bring forward 
Irish grievances for political purposes. In 
England a change of Ministry makes but little diffe- 
rence to the vast multitude of the population. Now 


Political Anomalies. 

and then a great national interest stirs up the sluggish 
blood of the miner or the farm labourer, the comfort- 
able husbandman, or the thriving village shopkeeper ; 
but unless some such question as war or Corn-laws 
arises, the classes who form the mass of the people 
trouble themselves very little about political changes. 

John Wilson Croker, who wrote of the state of 
Ireland in 1807, said " that Ireland had a quicksand 
Government, which swallowed in its fluctuations 
every venture at reform. In seven years we have 
had five chief governors and eight chief secretaries 
of different principles and parties, each shifting the 
abortive system of his predecessor by a system 
equally abortive. " 

It is only in politics that such anomalies exist. If 
they were attempted in physical science, the common 
sense of mankind would rise up and denounce the 
absurdity, and the victims of it would receive the 
sincerest commiseration. But the absurdity of this 
mode of government seems not to have been recog- 
nised, at least it has not been recognised practically. 
The process is, however, going on even at the present 
day with every appearance of being a perennial in- 
stitution. The Whig and the Tory, the Liberal and 
the Conservative, has each his own theory of govern- 
ment. In England there is no opportunity for 
exceptional practice or for interesting experiments. 
Ireland affords ample subject for any amount of 
political diagnosis. The patient may struggle now 
and then to free himself from the hands of his wise 

Talking and Acting. 


physicians, but his struggles are not rewarded with 
success ; expatriation is his only remedy, and that 
remedy is sought with an avidity which shows the 
terrible nature of the disease. 

In England when a Whig Prime Minister goes 
out and a Tory comes in, there is a good deal of 
what the Yankee would denominate " tall talk ;" in 
in Ireland, there is a good deal of unpleasant action. 

As long as men confine themselves to talking 
politics, very little harm is done ; when they come 
to act them, the results are very different. In Ireland 
the Whig going out means Orange ascendency ; the 
Whig coming in means that the new Prime Minister 
will, as far as he dare, or as far as he is disposed, do 
some justice to the vast majority of the nation. The 
Orangeman who curses the Pope in Belfast will be 
fined a little more rigorously, and some popular 
Catholic lawyer will get a seat on the bench ; some 
respectable Catholic country gentleman will have the 
honour of adding J. P. to his name. Once in a 
century some real justice will be done to Catholics. 
There will be Emancipation, or there will be the re- 
moval of a Church, which few Irishmen believe to be 
divine, and for which few, indeed, would care to sacri- 
fice a year's income, much less their lives. The in- 
terests of the Whig minister are not Irish ; he does 
just as much as is necessary to satisfy his conscience, 
if he has one ; or to promote his interests, if he has 
not one. It is dangerous ground. He has, above 
all things, to fear opposition — opposition needs a 


Ignorance of Irish Affairs. 

fulcrum for its lever— Irish politics. The Tory ap- 
peals to the "sense of the country," the unhappy 
minister is described as a Jesuit in disguise or at 
least having Papistical tendencies. The general body 
of English statesmen do not understand Irish politics, 
and know as much about the state of Ireland as they 
do about Timbuctoo ; but they do understand, or 
which is quite the same thing, they fancy they under- 
stand a No -Popery cry. 

Formerly the No-Popery cry was got up violent^. 
The Irish were all Papists, or nearly all, and their 
one object in life was to massacre the heretic; to kill 
the poor, innocent, inoffensive Orangemen, who only 
banded together for their own support. The English- 
men who knew nothing of Irish history, and who 
believed the Irish to be a nation of barbarians, quite 
believed this. They never heard of any Orange cruel- 
ties, of any Protestant massacres ; they knew nothing 
of violated treaties, or the details of penal laws. 

By-and-by the tradition became weakened. 
Englishmen had more intercourse with Ireland and 
with those Papists. They came to know that they 
were not quite so bad as they had traditionally be- 
lieved for so many centuries. Still the old prejudice 
remained. There is nothing more difficult to eradi- 
cate than prejudice. There were, there is, a certain 
class always ready to take up a No-Popery cry, but 
now it must be put in rather a different form. It 
answers the purpose, however, equally well. The 
Opposition who wish to get in are not very scrupulous 

Assassination of Mr. Perceval. 


about the means. They do get in, and, behold, a 
new policy for Ireland. 

The Orangemen who have supported them must 
be rewarded ; the Papist must be " put down." He 
has been endured too long, pampered and petted by 
the infatuated policy of the last party in office, and 
lie will now be made to feel that he is an inferior 
being ; one who is only tolerated, and who should 
be extremely thankful for toleration. What right 
has he, indeed, to expect favours ? And with this 
class of politicians, justice, where a Catholic is con- 
cerned, is believed to be a favour. 

Thus, by this perpetual change of policy a con- 
tinual bitterness is kept up ; each party expects his 
turn, when he hopes to triumph over the opposite 
party. It would be better, and more worthy of the 
so-called enlightened nineteenth century, if the 
balance of government was so equal, that whoever 
might predominate for the moment might feel it more 
than unwise to make that predominance an excuse 
for tyranny. 

On the 11th of May, 1812, Mr. Perceval was 
assassinated by Bellingham in the lobby of the House 
of Commons. The blow was so sudden, so unex- 
pected, so entirely unlooked for, and apart from any 
kind of probability, that the nation was stunned with 
horror. There were, indeed, some who thought that 
England had been "cursed by his sway," but they 
were few. Ireland, certainly, had no reason to bless 
his memory. 


The Prince of Wales. 

There was consternation in political circles, and 
there was confusion also. One brilliant statesman, 
haunted by the pre-Newdegate phantom of an ima- 
ginary Popish plot, declared that it was all the fault 
of the Catholics. "You see, my lords," exclaimed 
the sapient Earl of Eosse — " you see, my lords, the 
consequences of agitating the question of Catholic 
Emancipation." A man with one idea is generally a 
fool. If there had been an exceptionally high tide, 
he would have attributed any damage it might have 
done to the Papists also. 

The Irish Catholics had lon^ trusted the Prince 
of Wales. They believed the solemn promises he 
had made that he would at least consider their claims 
when he came into power. Even when he did obtain 
all but the name of king, when the poor old monarch 
was wandering dreamily through his palaces in hope- 
less idiotcy, and the young prince ruled ; they be- 
lieved with the utter trustingness of their Celtic 
nature, that he was only kept from fulfilling his 
promises by evil counsellors — by this Perceval 
especially, who was now gone to his account. They 
were soon undeceived. O'Connell may have had 
some hope, but he was one of the first to discover his 
real character. 

" I believe," said O'Connell, i( there never was a greater 
scoundrel than that prince. To his other evil qualities, he 
added a perfect disregard for truth. During his connexion with 
Mrs. Fitzherbert, Charles James Fox dined with him one day 
in that lady's company. After dinner, Mrs. Fitzherbert said, 
' By-the-by, Mr. Fox, I had almost forgotten to ask you what 

The Greatest Liar in England. 


you did say about me iu the House of Couimous the other 
night? The newspapers misrepresent so very strangely that 
one cannot depend on them. You were made to say that the 
prince authorised you to deny his marriage with me.' The 
prince made monitory grimaces at Fox, and immediately said, 
* Upon my honour, my dear, I never authorised him to deny it.' 
' Upon my honour, sir, you did,' said Fox, rising from the 
table. ' I had always thought your father the greatest liar in 
England — but now see that you are.' " 

Moore said of him, " I am sure the powder in his 
Koval Highness' hair is much more settled than anv- 
thing in his head or in his heart." 

It was of him also that Moore wrote one of his 
touching melodies, a melody which is sung by many 
who have little idea of its political origin : 

41 1 saw thee change — yet still relied ; 
Still clung with hope the fonder ; 
And thought, though false to all heside, 
From me thou wouldst not wander. 
But go, deceiver! go— 

The heart whose hope could make it 
Trust one so false, so low, 

Deserves that thou shouldst hreak it." 

A meeting was held on the 18th June, 1812, at 
Fishamble Street Theatre — Lord Fingal in the chair — 
at which Mr. Hussey gave an account of the pro- 
ceedings of the gentlemen who had been sent to 
London on the part of the Catholics. 

" He stated, that on applying for a personal interview with 
his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, they received a blunt 
refusal, and were informed by Mr. Secretary Ryder, that the 
address to his Highness, with which they were charged, should 
be presented at one of his public levees 1 in the usual way.' 


The " Witchery" Resolutions. 

" Every artifice," continued Mr. Hussey, "every hostility 
was used by the administration and its adherents against the 
Catholic petition to Parliament. The same cry was raised 
which gave them in England the value of popxdarity at their 
outset; and in every street ive ivere met by placards from 
various debating societies, that the question to be argued was, 
would not the emancipating of the Catholics be attended with 
worse consequences than the naturalisation of the Jews ? 
Publications, ivhich had laid dormant for hundreds of years, 
w ere dragged from their obscurity, and circulated with an 
anxiety and industry heretofore unknown ; every calumny 
that coidd be thrown against our tenets, everything against 
our priesthood, every libel, and every lie, were marshalled 
against us /" 

The famous " witchery" resolutions were passed 
at this meeting. The resolutions obtained this name 
from the very plain allusion contained in the first 
resolution to the witchery which was exercised by 
Lady Hertford in her guilty intrigues with the Prince 

The 4th, 5th, and 6th resolutions were the most 
important : 

" 4. That from authentic documents now before us, we 
learn, with deep disappointment and anguish, how cruelly the 
promised boon of Catholic freedom has been intercepted by the 
fatal tvitchery of an unworthy secret influence, hostile to our 
fairest hopes, spurning alike the sanctions of public and private 
virtue, the demands of personal gratitude, and the sacred 
obligations of plighted honour. 

"5. That to this impure source we trace, but too distinctly, 
our afflicted hopes and protracted servitude, the arrogant in- 
vasion of the undoubted right of petitioning, the acrimony of 
illegal state prosecutions, the surrender of Ireland to prolonged 
oppression and insult, and the many experiments, equally pitiful 

The Irish Papists Oath. 


and perilous, recently practised upon the habitual passiveness 
of an ill-treated, but high-spirited people. 

" 6. That cheerless, indeed, would be our prospects, and 
faint our hopes of success, were they to rest upon the constancy 
of courtiers, or the pompous patronage of men, who can coldly 
sacrifice the feelings and interest of millions at the shrine of 
perishable power ; or, deluded by the blandishments of too 
luxurious a court, can hazard the safety of a people for ill-timed 
courtly compliment. The pageants of a court command not 
our respect ; out great cause rests upon the immutable founda- 
tions of truth, and justice, and reason. Equal constitutional 
rights, unconditional, unstipulated, unpurchased by dishonour, 
are objects dear to our hearts. They consist with wisdom, 
virtue, humanity, true religion, and unaffected honour; and 
can never be abandoned by men who deserve to be free." 

O'Connell surpassed himself in eloquence when 
passing these resolutions. He commenced by a clear 
statement of the various pledges which had been 
made by the Prince Regent at different times to assist 
the Catholics. There was no need to show that 
those pledges had been recklessly violated one and 
all. The Irish Papist would not be believed even 
on his oath. If he was permitted to take an oath, he 
was generally obliged to swear that what he swore 
was true. There are some phases in the English 
political government of Ireland which might reconcile 
the Irishman to this insult to his faith and his 
honesty. Perhaps those Englishmen who found it 
so difficult to believe an Irish oath were little in- 
fluenced by the knowledge of their own reckless dis- 
regard of their solemn pledges. After all, they could 
only be expected to judge others by themselves. 


Murder no crime. 

Of the pledges made to Lord Kenmare, Lord 
Petre, and Lord Clifden, through the Duke of 
Bedford and Mr. Ponsonby, we need not speak. 
These pledges were left in the pawn-office of English 
honour, and men of principle were found at last to 
redeem them. 

The conclusion of O'Conneli's speech is more im- 
portant, for it might have been made in our own day 
with painful justice : 

" We may still hope. Hope, the last refuge of the wretched, 
is left us ; and we lately indulged it almost with the pleasures 
of certainty. A crime, the horrid crime of causeless assassina- 
tion, had deprived England of her Prime Minister — for, my 
Lord, everywhere but in Ireland assassination is admitted to be 
a crime. Here, also, it depends on circumstances ; you have 
but to combine these circumstances. Let the victim be an 
Irish Papist, let the murderer be an Orangeman, and let a legal 
junta administer the government in the name of the Duke of 
Eichmond ; it requires no more to turn murder into merit ! 

" The process in England is different. There they hanged 
and dissected the murderer, and transferred the advantages of 
the crime, if I may so express myself, to the victim ; it really 
and truly has been considered a merit in Mr. Perceval to have 
been murdered. The public men in England seem to think 
his death constituted not only an expiation for all his political 
sins, but turned his offences against his country into virtues. 

" For my part, I feel unaffected horror at his fate, and all 
trace of resentment for his crimes is obliterated. But I do not 
forget that he was a narrow-minded bigot, a paltry statesman, 
and a bad minister — that every species of public corruption and 
profligacy had in him a flippant and pert advocate — that every 
advance towards reform or economy had in him a decided 
enemy — and that the liberties of the people were an object of 
his derision. 


" All this has not been changed by the hand of this assassin ; 
yet I do, from my heart, participate in the grief and anguish 
which his premature fall must have excited within his domestic 
circle. The sorrows of his family have been obtruded on the 
public by ill-judging party writers, with something like osten- 
tatious affection ; but I do not love the man — nay, I hate the 
man — who could contemplate, coldly and unmoved, the affecting 
spectacle of the wife and children standing in speechless agony 
round the lifeless body of the murdered husband and father ; it 
was a scene to make a stoic weep. 

; " But are all our feelings to be exhausted by the great ? Is 
there no compassion for the wretched Irish widow, who lost her 
boy — her hope, her support ? I shall never forget the pathetic 
and Irish simplicity with which she told her tale of woe — ' My 
child was but seventeen ; he left me on Sunday morning quite 
well, and very merry, and he came home a corpse.' Are her 
feelings to be despised and trampled on ? Is the murderer of 
her son to remain unpunished, perhaps to be rewarded ? Oh 
yes ; for Etyrne was a Papist, and the assassin, Hall, was an 
Orangeman, nay, a purple marksman ; and recollect, that his 
Grace the Duke of Eichmond did not pardon him until after a 
most fair and patient trial. Hall was defended by his counsel 
and attorney ; he was tried by a jury of his own selection ; I 
say of his own selection — because he exhausted but few of 
his peremptory challenges ; nobody, indeed, would think of 
accusing honest Sheriff James of packing a jury against an 
Orangeman. Even had the list been previously submitted to 
the Secretary at the Castle, he would not have altered a single 
. name ; Sir Charles Saxton might have reviewed it with perfect 
safety to the prisoner. 

" After a patient trial, and a full defence, Hall was con- 
victed; he was convicted before a judge certainly not un- 
favourable to the prisoner ; he was convicted of having murdered, 
with the arms entrusted to him for the defence of the public 
peace, and in the public streets of your city, and in the open day, 
an innocent and unoffending youth. He has been pardoned 


An "Indifferent" Betrayer. 

and set at large—perhaps he has been rewarded : but can this 
be done with impunity ? Is there no vengeance for the blood 
of the widow's son? Alas! I am not, I trust, inclined to 
superstition, yet it obtruded itself on my mind, that the head 
of the Government which had allowed the blood of Byrne to 
flow unrequited, might have vindicated the notion of a provi- 
dential visitation for the unpunished crime." 1 

O'Connell then spoke, " not in anger, but in the 
deepest sorrow," of Lord Moira. He, too, was one 
of the many whom the Irish had trusted, and by 
whom they were betrayed. It is true, indeed, that 
his betrayal was not a betrayal of treachery, it was a 
betrayal of indifference, but the effect was much the 

There was little to hope for from the new minis- 
try, especially as Lord Wellesley had refused office 
because it was distinctly avowed that nothing would 
be done for Catholics. The Orange faction were 
now ascendent and triumphant, and as they never 
" bore their honours meekly," the worst results en- 
sued for the peace of unhappy Ireland. 

O'Connell declared again and again, his desire to 
work cordially with Irish Protestants. He was the 
first to make public acknowledgment, in the very 
warmest language, for any assistance he might obtain 

1 In a letter from the Princess Elizabeth to the Hon. Mrs. Scott, 
speaking of the murder of Mr. Perceval, she says — "It is impossible 
not to shrink with horror when one thinks of an Englishman com- 
mitting murder." Poor Princess ! how little she knew of the real 
history of her own time ! — Life of Lord Eldon, vol. ii. p. 204. 

Crime Exaggerated. 


from them, and lie had good reason to do so. There 
were many Irish Protestants who worked with him 
cordially ; and if he denounced the Orange faction in 
no measured words, it was because they were a 
faction — not because they were Protestants. 

If religion had not been used as a political engine 
by English statesmen, their factious bitterness would 
soon have died out/' 1 

It was necessary also at this time to get up a 
strong anti-Irish feeling in England, and the task was 
by no means difficult. Men were driven to the verge 
of desperation — in truth to desperation — by being de- 
prived of the most ordinary means of procuring the 
necessaries of life. These men did commit outrages, 
did commit murder ; and every outrage was magni- 
fied, as it passed through the manipulation of those 
who were interested in manipulating it ; and every 
murder was represented as the most deadly, the most 
treacherous, and the most diabolical of crimes. From 
the way in which Irish agrarian murders were — shall 
we say are ? — spoken of, it might be supposed that 
the landlords were the most benevolent of human 
beings, who overwhelmed these wretches with a 
weight of mercy and kindness. How entirely the 
reverse of this practice was true, may be found in 

1 The Orangemen -were very active this year. King William's 
statue in Dublin was adorned with extra ornaments. The custom 
of adorning this statue began in 1795, and was originated by a half- 
crazy bookseller named Mackenzie, who got the nickname of King 
William's milliner. 


Times of Distress. 

the sworn evidence of men of whose veracity there 
cannot be a question. 1 

Orange Lodges were then being established in 
England, where, unhappily, there is every effort being 
made at present to increase them. Their one cry 
now, as then, is for their own ascendency ; and some 
of our readers will remember the treasonable language 
which they used at the period immediately previous 

1 In the report of the Select Committee, 1824, we find the follow- 
ing questions and answers : " Mr. Beecher said : 4 1 think they (the 
lower classes) have been unused to fair dealing from the upper 
classes ; if they get it, they seem gratified beyond measure.' Major 
Warburton declared that many of the people would willingly give a 
day's labour in times of distress for one meal. John Duncan, Esq., 
said : * To the want of employment I attribute much of our unhappy 
state.' John Wiggins, Esq., an English merchant, said ' The efforts 
I have witnessed are really extraordinary. People bringing manure 
from the sea up extraordinary cliffs. I give them infinite credit for 
perseverance in this way.' Francis Blackburne, K.C., said : 1 On 
the property of Lord Stradbroke, in the county Limerick, there were 
forty or fifty families. The whole of that numerous body were dis- 
persed, and their houses prostrated ; they were, generally speaking, 
destitute of the means of support. That circumstance created a 
good deal of irritation in the county. [It will be remembered that the 
Duke of Wellington said such * irritation' must be put down.] This 
is not a singular case. The same thing is generally prevalent in the 
whole of the country.' He further said, { The mass of the popula- 
tion were destitute of what in England 1 would be considered the 
necessaries of life.' Mr. Kemmis, Crown Solicitor, gave an account 
of eleven murders which occurred from 1816 to 1838, all arising 
from evictions." 

Mr. Kohl, in his well-known Irish " Tour," said: " When he 
saw the poor settlers of Livonia, he used to pity them ; but when 
he came to Ireland, he found that the poorest of them lead a life of 
luxury compared with that of the Irish nation." 

u Protesting Catholic Dissenters" 

to the disestablishment of the Irish Protestant Church, 
and the declaration made by many of them that their 
loyalty would last as long as their principles were 
carried out, and no longer. 

On the 15th of June, 1813, there was a meeting 
at Fishamble Street Theatre, at which over 4,000 
persons were present. After reading the resolutions, 
O'Connell made a singularly effective speech, from 
which we can only give a few extracts : 

" Let me, in the first place, congratulate you on the 
progress which the principle of religious liberty has made since 
you last met. It has been greatly advanced by a magnificent 
discovery lately made by the English in ethics, and upon which 
I also beg leave to congratulate you. It is this : several 
Englishmen have discovered, in the nineteenth century, and 
more than four huudred years after the propagation of science 
was facilitated by the art of printing — several sagacious English- 
men have made this wonderful discovery in moral philosophy, 
that a man is not necessarily a worse citizen for having a 
conscience, and that a conscientious adherence to a Christian 
religion is not an offence deserving of degradation or punish- 

He then alluded to the Veto question. 

" They offer you Emancipation, as Catholics, if you will 
kindly consent, in return, to become schismatics. 1 They offer 
you liberty, as men, if you agree to become slaves after a new 
fashion — that is, your friends and your enemies have declared 
that you are entitled to Catholic Emancipation and freedom, 
upon the trifling terms of schism and servitude ! 

" Generous enemies ! bountiful friends ! Yes, in their 

1 This was probably an allusion to Mr. Butler's efforts to get a 
body of English Catholics together who would agree to the Veto, and 
call themselves, " Protesting Catholic Dissenters." 

VOL. II. 2 


Modern Cant. 

bounty, they resemble the debtor who should address his 
creditor thus : ' It is true, I owe you £100 ; I am perfectly 
well able to pay you : but what will you give me, if I hand you 
6s. 8d. in the pound of your just debt as a final adjustment ? 
Let us allay all jealousies,' continues the debtor, 'let us put 
an end to all animosities — I will give you one-third of what I 
owe you, if you will give me forty shillings in the pound of addi- 
tional value, and a receipt in full, duly stamped, into the bar- 
gain.' But why do I treat this serious and melancholy subject 
with levity ? "Why do I jest, when my heart is sore and sad ? 
Because I have not patience with this modern cant of securities, 
and vetos, and arrangements, and clauses, and commissions. 
Securities against what ? Not against the irritation and dis- 
like which may and naturally ought to result from prolonged 
oppression and insult. Securities — not against the conse- 
quences of dissensions, distrusts, and animosities. Securities — 
not against foreign adversaries. The securities that are required 
from us are against the effects of conciliation and kindness — 
against the dangers to be apprehended from domestic union, 
peace, and cordiality. If they do not emancipate us ; if they 
leave us aliens and outlaws in our native land ; if they continue 
our degradation, and all those grievances that, at present, set 
our passions at war with our duty, then they have no pretext 
for asking, nor do they require any securities ; but should they 
raise us to the rank of Irishmen, should they give us an im- 
mediate and personal interest in our native land, should they 
share with us the blessings of the constitution, should they add 
to our duty the full tide of our interests and affection ; then — 
then, say they, securities will be necessary. Securities and 
guards must be adopted. State bridles must be invented, and 
shackles and manacles must be forged, lest, in the intoxica- 
tion of new liberty, we should destroy, only because we have 
a greater interest to preserve." 

The great orator then turned to historical facts, 
which were incontrovertible, for a proof of his asser- 

A New Era. 


"But to return to our own history. The reigns of the 
First and of the Second George passed away ; England con- 
tinued strong ; she persevered in oppression and injustice ; 
she was powerful and respected ; she, therefore, disregarded ( 
the sufferings of the Irish, and increased their chains. The 
Catholics once had the presumption to draw up a petition ; it 
was presented to Primate Boulter, then governing Ireland. He 
not only rejected it with scorn and without a reply, hut treated 
the insolence of daring to complain as a crime and punished it 
as an offence, by recommending and procuring still more severe 
laws against the Papists, and the more active execution of the 
former statutes. 

"But a new era advanced; the war which George the 
Second waged on account of Hanover and America exhausted 
the resources, and lessened, while it displayed, the strength of 
England. In the meantime, the Duke of Bedford was Lord- 
Lieutenant of Ireland. The ascendency mob of Dublin, headed 
by a Lucas, insulted the Lord Lieutenant with impunity, and 
threatened the Parliament. All was riot and confusion within, 
whilst France had prepared an army and a fleet for the invasion 
of Ireland. Serious danger menaced England. The very con- 
nexion between the countries was in danger. The Catholics 
were, for the first time thought of with favour. They were 
encouraged to address the Lord Lieutenant, and for the first 
time then- address received the courtesy of a reply. 

" By this slight civility (the more welcome for its novelty) 
the warm hearts and ready hands of the Irish Catholics were 
purchased. The foreign foe was deterred from attempting to 
invade a country where he could no longer have found a friend ; 
the domestic insurgents were awed into silence ; the Catholics 
and the Government, simply by their combination, saved the 
state from its perils ; and thus did the Catholics, in a period of 
danger, and upon the very first application, and in return for 
no more than kind words, give, what we want to give— security 
to the empire." 

O'Connell then referred with singular power and 


Change of Fortune. 

felicity, and with convincing truth, to the various 
periods of Irish history at which some justice was 
done to Catholics because England was in peril, and 
found it best to avoid domestic dissension when she t 
had to contend with foreigners. 

Then he reverted to the occasions in which 
Catholic claims were treated with contempt because 
England was prosperous : 

" In 1792, the Catholics urged their claims, as they had 
more than once done before. But the era was inauspicious to 
them, for England was in prosperity. On the Continent, the 
confederation of German princes and the assemblage of the 
French princes, with their royalist followers, the treaty of 
Pilnitz, and the army of the King of Prussia, gave hope of 
crushing and extinguishing France and her liberties for ever. 
At that moment the Catholic petition was brought before 
Parliament ; it was not even suffered, according to the course 
of ordinary courtesy, to lie on the table ; it was rejected with 
indignation and with contempt. The head of the La Touche 
family, which has since produced so many first-rate Irishmen, 
then retained that Huguenot hatred for Catholics which is still 
cherished by Saurin, the Attorney- General for Ireland. La 
Touche proposed that the petition should be rejected, and it 
was rejected by a majority of 200 to only 13. 

" Fortune, however, changed. The invasion of the Prussians 
was unsuccessful ; the French people, worshiping the name as 
if it were the reality of liberty, chased the Duke of Brunswick 
from their soil ; the King of Prussia, in the Luttrel style, sold 
the pass ; the German princes were confounded, and the French V 
princes scattered ; Dumourier gained the battle of Jemappes, 
and conquered the Austrian Netherlands ; the old governments 
of Europe were struck with consternation and dismay, and we 
arrived at the fourth, and hitherto the last stage of Emancipa- 
tion ; for after those events in 1793, was passed that Act which 

The Plain Path to Safety. 


gave us many valuable political rights — many important 

" The Parliament — the same men who, in 1792, would not 
suffer our petition to lie on the table — the men who, iu 179*2, 
treated us with contempt, in the short space of a few months 
granted us the elective franchise. In 1792, we were despised 
and rejected ; in 1793, we were flattered and favoured. The 
reason was obvious ; in the year 1792, England was safe ; in 
1793, she wanted security — and security she found in the 
emancipation of the Catholics, partial though it was and limited. 
The spirit of republican phrenzy was abroad ; the enthusiasm 
for liberty, even to madness, pervaded the public mind." 

He followed up this exposure of English vacilla- 
tion by showing the true path to security : 

" The plain path to safety — to security— lies before her. 
Let Irishmen be restored to their inherent rights, and she may 
laugh to scorn the shock of every tempest. The arrangements 
which the abolition of the national debt may require will then 
be effectuated, without convulsion or disturbance ; and no 
foreign foe will dare to pollute the land of freemen and of 

" They have, however, struck out another resource in 
England : they have resolved, it is said, to resort to the pro- 
tection of Orange Lodges. That system which has been de- 
clared by judges from the bench to be illegal and criminal, and 
found by the experience of the people to be bigoted and bloody — 
the Orange system, which has marked its progress in blood, in 
murder, and in massacre — the Orange system, which has deso- 
late J Ireland, and would have converted her into a solitude but 
for the interposing hand of Cornwallis — the Orange system, 
with all its sanguinary horrors, is, they say, to be adopted in 
England ! 

"Its prominent patron, we are told, is Lord Kenyon or 
Lord Yarmouth ; the first an insane religionist of the Welsh 
Jumper sect, who, bounding in the air, imagines he can lay 


Denunciation oj Orangeism. 

hold of a limb of the Deity, like Macbeth snatching at the air- 
drawn dagger of his fancy ! He would be simply ridiculous, 
but for the mischievous malignity of his holy piety, which 
desires to convert Papists from their errors through the instru- 
mentality of daggers of steel. Lord Kenyon may enjoy his 
ample sinecures as he pleases, but his folly should not goad to 
madness the people of Ireland. 

" You know full well that I do not exaggerate the horrors 
which the Orange system has produced, and must produce, if 
revived by authority in this country. I have in some of the 
hireling prints of London, read, under the guise of opposing 
the adoption of the Orange system, the most unfounded praises 
of the conduct of the Irish Orangemen. They were called 
loyal and worthy and constitutional. Let me hold them up in 
their true light. The first authentic fact in their history occurs 
in 1795. It is to be found in the address of Lord Gosford, to 
a meeting of the magistrates of the county of Armagh, convened 
by his lordship, as governor of that county, on the 28th of 
December, 1795. Allow me to read the following passage 
from that address : 

" ' Gentlemen, Having requested your attendance here this 
day, it becomes my duty to state the grounds upon which I 
thought it advisable to propose this meeting ; and at the same 
time to submit to your consideration a plan which occurs to me 
as most likely to check the enormities that have already brought 
disgrace upon this country, and may soon reduce it into deep 

" ' It is no secret that a persecution, accompanied with all 
the circumstances of ferocious cruelty, which have in all ages 
distinguished that dreadful calamity, is now raging in this 
country. Neither age nor sex, nor even acknowledged 
innocence, as to any guilt in the late disturbances, is sufficient 
to excite mercy, much less to afford protection. 

" ' The only crime which the wretched objects of this ruth- 
less persecution are charged with, is a crime, indeed, of easy 

Cruelty of Orangemen. 


proof; it is simply a profession of the Roman Catholic faith, or 
an intimate connexion with a person professing this faith. A 
lawless banditti have constituted themselves judges of this new 
species of delinquency, and the sentence they have denounced 
is equally concise and terrible. It is nothing less than a con- 
fiscation of all property, and an immediate banishment. It 
would be extremely painful, and surely unnecessary, to detail 
the horrors that are attendant on the execution of so rude and 
tremendous a proscription — one that certainly exceeds, in the 
comparative number of those it consigns to ruin and misery, 
ever}* example that ancient and modern history can supply ; for 
where have we heard, or in what story of human cruelties have 
we read, of half the inhabitants of a populous country deprived, 
at one blow, of the means as well as the fruits of then industry, 
and driven, in the midst of an inclement season, to seek a shelter 
for themselves and then helpless families, where chance may 
guide them ? 

" ' This is no exaggerated picture of the horrid scenes that 
are now acting in this country.' 

" ' Here is the first fact in the history of the Orangemen. 
They commenced their course by a persecution, with every 
circumstance of ferocious cruelty. These lawless banditti, as 
Lord Gosford called them, showed no mercy to age, nor sex, 
nor acknowledged innocence. And this is not the testimony of 
a man favourable to the rights of those persecuted Catholics ; 
he avows his intolerance in the very address of which I have 
read you a part; and though shocked at these Orange enormities, 
he still exults in his hostility to emancipation. 

" After this damning fact from the early history of the 
Orangeinen, who can think with patience on the revival or ex- 
tension of this murderous association ? It is not, it ought not, 
it cannot be endured, that such an association should be re- 
stored to its power of mischief by abandoned and unprincipled 
courtiers. But I have got in my possession a document which 
demonstrates the vulgar and lowly origin, a3 well as the 
traitorous and profligate purpose of this Orange society. It 


Orange Associations. 

has been repeatedly sworn to in judicial proceedings, that the 
original oath of an Orangeman was an oath to exterminate the 
Catholics." 1 

He then proceeded to read some extracts from a 
book printed, for the use of the Orange Lodges, by 
William M'Kenzie in 1810. He continued : 

"I can demonstrate from this document that the Orange is 
a vulgar, a profligate and a treasonable association. To prove 
it treasonable, I read the following, which is given as the first 
of their secret articles : ' That we will bear true allegiance to 
his Majesty, his heirs and successors, so long as he or they 
support the Protestant ascendency.' The meaning is obvious, 

1 At a time when vigorous efforts are being made to extend the 
Orange associations both in England and Ireland, it would be well 
that Protestants as well as Catholics learned more of their true 
principles. At the Orange demonstration in Manchester on the 
12th of July, 1872, as reported by the Standard, the following 
resolution was moved and seconded with acclamation : 

" That the admission of Roman Catholics to Parliament by the 
Act of 1829 has led to the corruption of political parties, by inducing 
political leaders to sacrifice the safeguards of Protestantism for the 
support of Roman Catholics, whose one great purpose is the 
supremacy of their own Church — a course which, if permitted to 
continue, must be destructive of that civil and religious liberty 
which has so long been the glory of England. "We protest against 
such conduct, and we pledge ourselves to oppose by every means in 
our power all such concessions." 

From this it is evident that, however these persons may have 
advanced in general civilisation, they have yet to learn that religious 
liberty means liberty to all. The liberty they demand is the liberty 
to exercise intolerance. In the north of Ireland, on the same day, 
a gallant colonel made an exhibition of his wife's Orange gown 
before an amused, if not an appreciative audience. He said, " He 
was true to his colours ; and when evil times came on Ireland he 
was turned out of the magistracy of the county because his wife wore 

Concealment of Crime. 


the Orangeman will be loyal just so long as he pleases. The 
traitor puts a limit to his allegiance, suited to what he shall 
fancy to be meant by the words 1 Protestant Ascendency.' If 
the legislature presumes to alter the law for the Irish Catholics, 
as it did for the Hanoverian Catholics, then is the Orangeman 
clearly discharged from his allegiance, and allowed, at the first 
convenient opportunity, to raise a civil war ; and this is what 
is called a loyal association. Oh ! how different from the un- 
conditional, the ample, the conscientious oath of allegiance of 
the Irish Catholic !" 

O'Connell then read some of the other M secret 
resolutions," which we omit, and pass to the 

" 1 8th Secret Article. An Orangeman is to keep a brother's 
secrets as his own, unless in case of murder, treason, and 
perjury, and of his own free will.' See what an abundant crop 
of crimes the Orangeman is bound to conceal for his brother 
Orangeman. Killing a Papist may, in his eyes, be no murder, 
and he might be bound to conceal that; but he is certainly 
bound to conceal all cases of riot, maiming, wounding, stabbing, 
theft, robbing, rape, house-breaking, house -burning, and every 
other human villany, save murder, treason, and perjury. These 
are the good, the faithful, the loyal subjects. They may, with- 
out provocation or excuse, attack and assault — give the first 
assault, mind, when they are certain no brother can be brought 

an Orange gown. As there were ladies present, they might be 
curious to see the Orange gown, and he would have no objection to 
produce it." [The chairman, amid laughter and cheers, produced 
from a leather bag some square yards of silk — a tolerably well- 
preserved relic of the lady to whom he referred.] After all, it was 
a harmless exhibition of partisan feeling. Of course, it passed un- 
noticed by the English press ; but if a Catholic had made a similar 
exhibition, 6ome very strong language would have been used to 
describe his idiotcy, and the affair would have been reported from 
John O'Groat's House to Land's End. 


Criminal Principles. 

to trouble. They may feloniously and burglariously break into 
dwellings, and steal, take, and carry away whatever they will 
please to call arms and ammunition. And, if the loyalty of a 
brother tempts him to go a little further, and to plunder any 
other articles, or to burn the house, or to violate female honour, 
his brother spectators of his crime a T, e bound by their oaths to 
screen it for ever from detection and justice. I know some 
men of better minds have been, in their horror of revolutionary 
fury, seduced into these Lodges, or have unthinkingly become 
members of them; but the spirit, the object, and the con- 
sequences of this murderous and plundering association, are 
not the less manifest. 

"I do not calumniate them ; for I prove the history of 
their foundation and origin by the unimpeachable testimony of 
Yiscount Gosford, and I prove their principles by their own 
secret articles, the genuineness of which no Orangeman can or 
will deny. If it were denied, I have the means of proving it 
beyond a doubt. And when such principles are avowed, when 
so much is acknowledged and printed, oh, it requires but little 
knowledge of human nature to ascertain the enormities which 
must appear in the practice of those who have confessed so 
much of the criminal nature of their principles. 

" There is, however, one consolation. It is to be found in 
their ninth secret article : ' No Roman Catholic can be admitted 
on any account.' I thank them for it, I rejoice at it ; no 
Roman Catholic deserves to be admitted ; no Roman Catholic 
would desire to belong to a society permitting aggression and 
violence, when safe and prudent, permitting robbery to a certain 
extent, and authorising treason upon a given contingency. 

" And now let me ask, What safety, w 7 hat security can 
the minions of the court promise to themselves from the en- 
couragement of this association ? They do want security, and 
from the Catholics they can readily have it ; and you, my 
friends, may want security, not from the open attacks of the 
Orangeman, for against those the law and your own courage 
will protect you, but of their secret machinations you ought to 

Beware of Orangemen. 


be warned. They will endeavour, nay, I am most credibly 
assured, that at this moment their secret emissaries are en- 
deavouring to seduce you into acts of sedition and treason, that 
they may betray and destroy you. Recollect what happened 
little more than twelve months ago, when the board detected 
and exposed a similar delusion in Dublin. Recollect the un- 
punished conspiracy which was discovered at Limerick ; un- 
punished and unprosecuted was the author. Recollect the 
Mayor's Constable of Kilkenny, and he is still in office, though 
he administered an oath of secrecy, and gave money to his spy 
to treat the country people to liquor and seduce them to treason. 
I do most earnestly conjure you to be on your guard, no matter 
in what shape any man may approach who suggests disloyalty 
to you, no matter of what religion he may affect to be, no 
matter what compassion he may express for your sufferings, or 
what promises he may make ; believe me that any man who 
may attempt to seduce you into any secret association or com- 
bination whatsoever, that suggests to you any violation of the 
law whatsoever, that dares to utter in your presence the 
language of sedition or of treason, depend upon it — take my 
word for it, and I am your sincere friend — that every such man 
is the hired emissary and the spy of your Orange enemies — that 
his real object is to betray you, to murder you under the forms 
of a judicial trial, and to ruin your country for your guilt. If, 
on the contrary, you continue at this trying moment peaceful, 
obedient, and loyal ; if you avoid every secret association, and 
every incitement to turbulence ; if you persevere in your 
obedience to the laws, and in fidelity to the Crown and Con- 
stitution, your emancipation is certain and not distant, and 
your country will be restored to you ; your natural friends and 
protectors will seek the redress of your grievances in and from 
Parliament, and Ireland will be again free and happy. If you 
suffer yourself to be seduced by these Orange betrayers, the 
members of the board will be bound to resist your crimes with 
their lives ; you will bring disgrace and ruin on our cause ; 
you will destroy yourselves and your families, and perpetuate 


O'ConnelVs Love of Justice. 

the degradation and disgrace of your native land. But my fears 
are vain. I know your good sense ; I rely on your fidelity ; 
you will continue to baffle your enemies; you will continue 
faithful and peaceable ; and thus shall you preserve yourselves, 
promote your cause, and give security to the empire." 

Two points should be specially noted in the con- 
clusion of this masterly address : O'Connell's love of 
justice, which impelled him to admit that there were 
members, even of Orange lodges, who were of better 
minds than their associates, and his determined out- 
spoken abhorrence of anything even approaching to 
secret combinations, however speciously such com- 
binations might be framed or excused. 

With some few and not very honourable excep- 
tions, those men who have distinguished themselves 
most in public life have been remarkable for the 
practice of domestic virtue. O'Connell's attachment 
to his wife has already been mentioned. She was 
certainly not a woman of any remarkable intellec- 
tual calibre, but she had sufficient appreciation of 
her husband's value to give him the just award of 
her affectionate approbation of his career. When 
separated, as they were frequently, they kept up an 
affectionate correspondence, and Mrs. O'Connell 
helped the Liberator by her earnest sympathy in his 
pursuits when she could not help him by any personal 
co-operation. As his sons grew up, they too, took 
their share in his work with more or less ability. 

But O'Connell belonged to the public. He gave 
his life to Ireland. Unhappy, indeed, will Ireland 
ever be if she forgets the debt of gratitude which she 

Prejudice against O'Connell 


owes to her most illustrious son! Other men have 
fought for her, or died for her. Let her honour 
them. Those who are faithful to unfortunate Ireland 
deserve the praise which men receive who lead a 
forlorn hope. O'Connell led Ireland on until she 
won the noblest victory on record — because it was 
the victory of mental power over brute force. When 
the memory of O'Connell grows dim in Irish hearts — 
but I may not pen the words ; bis memory never will 
grow dim while there is an Irishman with heart to 
love or intellect to cherish it. 

It is to be regretted, however, that some of those 
very persons who are most sensibly benefited by 
O'Connell are not grateful to him for the concessions 
lie obtained for them. Their ingratitude arises prin- 
cipally from ignorance and partly from prejudice. 
From ignorance, because those English Catholics, 
who look with something like contempt on O'Connell's 
career, are seldom well informed, or fully informed 
as to his history ; from prejudice, because we believe 
that where this dislike exists, and where we know 
it now to exist, it arises from a prejudice against 
O'Connell, because at times neither his words nor 
his manner were exactly in accordance with con- 
ventional rules of etiquette. The very position of 
English Catholics of the upper class has made them 
tenaciously touchy on those subjects. It would seem 
as if they forgot that some of those who have done 
the noblest work for God on earth have not been 
what the world calls gentlemen. 


His Style of Speech. 

Yet after a careful perusal of all O'Connell's 
speeches, it is difficult to find more than a few words 
here and there, which, in a fastidious audience would 
have been better unsaid ; and if those words or ex- 
pressions were compared with others which have 
been uttered from the bench and in the senate at 
the present day, we think that a jury would award a 
verdict of not guilty by comparison to O'Connell. It 
should be remembered also that Berkeley described 
the Irish aristocracy of the day as " Goths in igno- 
rance, spendthrifts, drunkards, and debauchees." It 
was evidently not from such persons that O'Connell 
could learn courtly manners. 

A rough and ready style was best suited to 
O'Connell's work, and we suspect he cultivated it 
purposely. Roche 1 gives an account, which, he says, 
he received from the Liberator himself, of the care 
with which he prepared some of his speeches, and 
undoubtedly there are passages in many of them 
which are of the very highest order of rhetorical 

Sheil, in his " Sketches of the Irish Bar," has given 

1 Roclie's Essays, vol. ii. p. 103. He says : <£ His earliest ex- 
hibition as an orator at Cork was on the 2nd September, 1811, at 
the first great Catholic meeting held there, and of which he was 
chairman. He made a splendid speech of two hours' duration, 
which he passed the night in preparing for the press, and which I 
saw the next morning fairly written in his bold flowing hand, 
exactly as he had pronounced it, though he certainly could not have 
gotten it entirely by heart, for he adverted in its course to various 
matters of the discussion." 

Early Rising. 


an admirable sketch of (XConnelTs daily life when in 
the zenith of his fame. 
He says : 

" If any of you, my English readers, being a stranger in 
Dublin, should chance on your return on a winter's morning 
from one of the small and early parties of that raking metro- 
polis — that is to say, between the hours of five and six o'clock — 
to pass along the south side of Merrion Square, you will not 
fail to observe that, among those splendid mansions, iher3 is 
one evidently tenanted by a person whose habits differ materially 
from those of his fashionable neighbours. The half-oponed 
parlour shutter, and the light within, announce that some one 
dwells there whose time is too precious to permit him to 
regulate his rising with the sun's. Should your curiosity tempt 
you to ascend the steps, and, under cover of the dark, to recon- 
noitre the interior, you will see a tall, able-bodied man standing 
at a desk, and immersed in solitary occupation. Upon the 
wall in front of him there hangs a crucifix. From this, and 
from the calm attitude of the person within, and from a certain 
monastic rotundity about his neck and shoulders, your first im- 
pression will be that he must be some pious dignitary of the 
Church of Rome absorbed in his matin devotions. But this 
conjecture will be rejected almost as soon as formed. No 
sooner can the eye take in the other furniture of the apart- 
ment—the bookcases clogged with tomes in plain calf- skin 
binding, and blue-covered octavos that lie about on the tables 
and the floor, the reams of manuscript in oblong folds and 
begirt with crimson tape — than it becomes evident that the 
party meditating amidst such objects must be thinking far 
more of the law than of the prophets. 

" He is, unequivocally, a barrister, but apparently of that 
homely, chamber-keeping, plodding cast who labour hard to 
make up by assiduity what they want in wit — who are up and 


A Plodding Barrister. 

stirring before the bird of the morning has sounded the retreat 
to the wandering spectre, and are already brain-deep in the 
dizzying vortex of mortgages, and cross-remainders, and 
mergers, and remitters, while his clients, still lapped in sweet 
oblivion of the law's delay, are fondly dreaming that their 
cause is peremptorily set down for a final hearing. Having 
come to this conclusion, you push on for home, blessing your 
stars on the way that you are not a lawyer, and sincerely com- 
passionating the sedentary drudge whom you have just detected 
in the performance of his cheerless toil. But should you 
happen, in the course of the same day, to stroll down to the 
Four Courts, you will be not a little surprised to find the object 
of your pity miraculously transferred from the severe recluse of 
the morning into one of the most bustling, important, and 
joyous personages in that busy scene. There you will be sure 
to see him, his countenance braced up and glistened with 
health and spirits, with a huge, plethoric bag, which his robust 
arms can scarcely contain, clasped with paternal fondness to 
his breast, and environed by a living palisade of clients and 
attorneys, with outstretched necks, and mouths and ears agape 
to catch up any chance opinion that may be coaxed out of him 
in a colloquial way ; or listening to what the client relishes 
still better — for in no event can they be slided to a bill of 
costs — the counsellor's burst of jovial and familiar humour ; or 
when he touches on the sadder strain, his prophetic assurances 
that the hour of Ireland's redemption is at hand. You perceive 
at once that you have lighted upon a great popular advocate ; 
and, if you take the trouble to follow his movements for a 
couple of hours through the several courts, you will not fail to 
discover the qualities that have made him so — his legal compe- 
tency, his business-like habits, his sanguine temperament — 
which renders him not merely the advocate, but the partisan of 
his client — his acuteness, his fluency of thought and language, 
his unconquerable good humour, and above all, his versatility. 

w Kerry's Pride and Munsiers Glory." 3S7 

By the hour of three, when the judges usually rise, you will have 
seen him go through a quantity of business, the preparation for 
and performance of which would he sufficient to wear down an 
ordinary constitution ; and you naturally suppose that the re- 
maining portion of the day must, of necessity, be devoted to 
recreation or repose. But here again you will be mistaken ; 
for should you feel disposed, as you return from the courts, I I 
drop into any of the public meetings that are almost daily 
held — for some purpose, or to no purpose — in Dublin, to a 
certainty you will find the counsellor there before you, the pre- 
siding spirit of the scene ; riding in the whirlwind and directing 
the storm of popular debate with a strength of lungs and a re- 
dundancy of animation as if he had that moment started fresh 
for the labours of the day. There he remains until, by dint of 
strength or dexterity, he has carried every point ; and from 
thence, if you would see him to the close of the day's eventful 
history, you will, in all likelihood, have to follow him to a 
public dinner ; from which after having acted a conspicuous 
part in the turbulent festivity of the evening, and thrown off 
half-a-dozen speeches in praise of Ireland, he retires at a late 
hour, to repair the wear and tear of the day by a short interval 
of repose, and is sure to be found, before dawn -break next 
morning, at his solitary post, recommencing the routine of his 
restless existence. Now, any one who has once seen in the 
preceding situation the able-bodied, able-minded, acting, talking, 
multifarious person I have just been describing, has no occasion 
to inquire his name— he may be assured that he is and can be 
no other than £ Kerry's pride and Minister's glory' — the far- 
famed and indefatigable Daniel O'Connell. His frame is tall, 
expanded, and muscular — precisely such as befits a man of the 
people ; for the physical classes ever look with double con- 
fidence and affection upon a leader who represents in his own 
person the qualities upon which they rely. In his face he has 
been equally fortunate — it is extremely comely. The features 
vol. n. 3 


A TiioroiKjli Patriot. 

are at once soft and manly; the florid glow of health and a 
sanguine temperament are diffused over the whole countenance, 
which is national in the outline, and beaming with national 
emotion ; the expression is open and confiding, and inviting 
confidence ; there is not a trace of malignity or wile — if there 
were, the bright and sweet blue eyes, the most kindly and 
honest-looking that can be conceived, would repel the im- 
putation. These popular gifts of nature O'Connell has not 
neglected to set off by his external carriage and deportment — 
or, perhaps, I should rather say, that the same hand which 
has moulded the exterior, has supersaturated the inner man 
with a fund of restless propensity which it is quite beyond 
his power, as it is certainly beside his inclination to control. 
A large portion of this is necessarily expended upon his 
legal avocations ; but the labours of the most laborious of 
professions cannot tame him to repose. After deducting the 
daily drains of the study and the courts, there remains an 
ample residuum of animal spirits and ardour for occupation, 
which go to form a distinct and, I might say, a predominant 
character — the political chieftain. The existence of this over- 
weening vivacity is conspicuous in O'Connell's manners and 
movements; and being a popular, and more particularly a 
national quality, greatly recommends him to the Irish people — 
onobilitate viget; body and soul are in a state of permanent in- 
surrection. See him in the streets, and you perceive at once 
that he is a man who has sworn that his country's wrongs shall 
be avenged. A Dublin jury (if judiciously selected) would find 
his very gait and gestures to be high treason by construction, 
so explicitly do they enforce the national sentiment of ' Ireland 
her own — or the world in a blaze !' As he marches to court, 
he shoulders his umbrella as if it were a pike. He flings out 
one factious foot before the other as if he had already burst his 
bonds, and was kicking the Protestant ascendency before him ; 
while ever and anon, a democratic, broad-shouldered roll of the 

Sacrifice of Pleasure. 


upper man is manifestly an indignant effort to shuffle off the 
oppression of seven hundred years.' This intensely national 
sensibility is the prevailing peculiarity in 0' Connellys character ; 
for it is not only when abroad and in the popular gaze that Irish 
affairs seem to press upon his heart — the same Erin-go-bra git 
feeling follows him into the most technical details of his forensic 
occupations. Give him the most dry and abstract position of 
law to support — the most remote that imagination can conce ive 
from the violation of the Irish Parliament, and ten to one hut 
lie will contrive to interweave a patriotic episode upon those 
examples of British domination. The people are never absent 
from his thoughts. lie tosses up a bill of exceptions to a 
judge's charge in the name of Ireland, and pockets a special 
retainer with the air of a man that doats upon his country. 
There is, perhaps, some share of exaggeration in all this ; but 
much less, I do believe, than is generally suspected, and I 
apprehend that he would scarcely pass for a patriot without it ; 
for, in fact, he has been so successful, and looks so contented, 
and his elastic, unbroken spirits are so disposed to bound and 
frisk for very joy — in a word, he has naturally so bad a face for 
a grievance, that his political sincerity might appear equivocal, 
were there not some clouds of patriotic grief or indignation to 
temper the sunshine that is for ever bursting through them." 

It must have been no small sacrifice to a man who 
enjoyed society as O'Connell did, to absent himself 
from social circles. The resolution of the man's 
character was as unselfish in this as his in life-long 
devotion to the one pursuit. It was, indeed, a part 
of his pursuit. 

As a raconteur he was probably unequalled. With 
the best of memories, with a quick wit to seize the 
point of any incident, and with an admirable manner 

Jerry Keller. 

of relating it, he could not fail to take pleasure in 
the exercise of his gift, as well as to give pleasure to 
others. Let Ireland remember, when she counts up 
her debt of gratitude to O'Connell, how many nights 
he deprived himself of necessary rest, and how many 
days he deprived himself of that relaxation, which, 
for most men in his position, and undertaking his 
labours, would have been considered a necessity 
rather than an indulgence. 

His bar anecdotes were amongst the most 
amusing. Several are recorded which relate to the 
well-known Jerry Keller : 

" Jerry," said O'Connell, was an instance of great waste 
of talent. He was the son of a poor farmer near Kanturk, 
named Keleher, which Jerry anglicised into Keller when he 
went to the bar. He was an excellent classical scholar, and 
had very considerable natural capacity ; but although he had a 
good deal of business at the bar, his success was far from being 
what he might have attained had he given his whole soul to his 
profession. His readiness of retort was great. Baron Smith 
once tried to annoy him on his change of name at a bar dinner. 
They were talking of the Irish language. ' Your Irish name, 
Mr. Keller,' said the baron, e is Diarmuid ua Cealleachair. 
' It is,' answered Jerry, nothing daunted, ' and yours is Laimh 
Gabha. 1 There was a great laugh at the baron's expense— a 
sort of thing that nobody likes." 

" Another time," said O'Connell, " when the bar were dining 
together on a Friday, a blustering young barrister named 
Norcott, of great pretension with but slender materials to 
support it, observed that J erry was eating fish instead of meat, 
and by way of jeering Jerry (who had been originally a Catholic), 
said to him : ' So you won't eat meat ? Why I did not think, 

Lord Clare. 


Jerrv, you had so much of the Pope iu your helly.' * For all 
the meat iu the market,' said Jerry, ' I would not have as much 
of the Pretender in my head as you have.' " 

Jerry was a member of a famous convivial society 
who denominated themselves, the " Monks of the 
Screw." Lord Avonmore was a " monk" also, and 
as long as he lived Jerry's bag was full. After the 
death of this nobleman he sank into poverty, yet he 
still went circuit, and held his place as senior at the 
mess, where his humour never deserted him, though 
it became somewhat embittered by his misfortunes. 

Of Lord Clare, O'Connell used to tell the follow- 
ing anecdote : 

"Lord Clare's enmity to Ireland," said O'Connell, "was 
once nearly ended by an assassin. In 17^4, he was carrying a 
bill through the Irish Parliament for compelling the accountant 
of the Court of Exchequer to return his accounts whenever 
called upon by the court. These summary accounts would 
have been very inconvenient to Baron Power, who, as junior 
baron, filled the office of accountant. He lived extravagantly — 
making use of the money of the public that came into his 
hands, and looking to future good luck to enable him to reckon 
with the owners. The bill would have been his ruin ; and 
after many ineffectual efforts to dissuade Lord Clare from 
pressing it, he at last resolved in a fit of desperation to assas- 
sinate him. So he drove to Ely Place with a brace of loaded 
pistols in his pocket, and asked to see Lord Clare, who provi- 
dentially was from home. Baron Power then resolved on 
suicide, and ordered his coachman to drive him along the South 
Wall. When he had got to a considerable distance out of 
town he quitted the carriage, desired the coachman to await his 
return, and walked on alone towards the Pigeon House. He 


Crosbie Morgan. 

tied his hands together in order to deprive himself of the power 
of swimming, and jumped into the sea from the pier. It was 
afterwards remarked as curious that he walked off to drown 
himself using an umbrella, as the clay was wet. One would 
think the sprinkling of a shower would not much incommode a 
fellow who was resolved on a watery death. Think of a man 
going to drown himself with an umbrella to keep out the wet . 

" Shortly after, Crosbie Morgan, one of the oddest of odd 
attorneys, also drowned himself. The ballad-mongers shouted 
their accounts of these events through Dublin, crying out : 
' G reat times for Ireland ! One judge drowned ! One attorney 
drowned!' They had also : 'Last speech and dying words of 
Crosbie Morgan !' which instead of ending with the approved 
finish of the penitent declaration of Catholic criminals — namely, 
' I die an unworthy member of the Church of Kome,' ended 
thus : ' I die an unworthy mongrel of neither church.' 

" ' Crosbie Morgan,' said O'Connell, ' was a very eccentric 
fellow. He probably made more money than any other attorney 
of his time. He had eleven clerks in his office, and every 
clerk was an attorney. Great as were his gains, his expen- 
diture was greater. Whenever he travelled to Dublin he used 
to engage all the post-chases at every inn w T here he slept, along 
the road ; and if he found any gentlemen of his acquaintance 
going to town, he invariably gave them seats gratis. His own 
personal suit always filled two or three of the carriages.' 

" ' Had Baron Power,' continued O'Connell, reverting to 
Lord Clare, ' murdered Fitzgibbon, Pitt would have found 
much more difficulty in carrying the Union. Castlereagh, 
although as vile, shameless, and indefatigable a tool as ever 
corruption had, could not, unaided by the commanding energy 
of Clare, have succeeded so well in the dirty work. Clare had 
great intellectual powers. He lived at a period fertile in 
monsters — Clare was a monster. He was a kind of petticoat 
Robespierre. His father was a barrister of considerable 



eminence. Old Fitzgibbon and bis brother were the first 
persons who introduced the system of reporting the proceedings 
of the English law courts in the public newspapers without the 
authority of the presiding judge. They were students in the 
Temple at the time, and Lord Mansfield tried to put a stop to 
the practice, but the Fitzgibbons persevered and succeeded. 
Clare was atrociously bigoted against the Catholics. A Protes- 
tant friend of mine, who often met him at the whist parties of 
an old dowager, told mo nothing could possible exceed the 
contemptuous acerbity with which on these occasions he spoke 
of the Catholics. ' The scum of the earth,' and such like 
phrases, were the epithets, he habitually applied to them.' " 

Some one having alluded to the temptation to amass large 
sums afforded by facility and security from detection, O'Connell 
told the following anecdote : " I knew a person named Barnewell, 
who, while staying in Dublin, was commissioned by a friend in 
the country to purchase a lottery-ticket. The choice of the 
number was left to Barnewell, who accordingly selected and 
paid for a ticket. It turned up a prize of £10,000. He had 
the most thorough facility for retaining the amount. All he 
need do was to buy his friend some other ticket. No one could 
say that he had not duly executed his commission. But 
Barnewell reasoned thus with himself: 1 If,' said he, 'my 
friend had not commissioned me to buy the ticket for him, I 
never would have bought it for myself. It therefore is rightly 
his ; and to put myself beyond the reach of casuistry, I'll lodge 
the amount to his credit immediately, and apprise him that I 
have clone so by this night's post;' which honest Barnewell 
accordingly did. I recollect when I was a younker, my uncle 
gage me £300 in gold, to get changed into notes at Cotter & 
Kellett's bank. The clerk, through stupidity, gave me £400, 
of which £300 were in small notes, and the rest in a £100 note. 
I pointed out his blunder ; and he, in a very surly manner, and 
without looking at the heap of notes, insisted that I must be 


A Vigorous Measure. 

wrong, for that he never mistook. I persisted ; he was sulky 
and obstinate. At last our altercation attracted the notice of 
Cotter, who came over and asked what was the matter. I told 
him I had got £100 too much. He reckoned the money, and 
then took off the £100, saying, ' Now it is all right.' I begged 
he would let me retain that note, as my uncle was desirous to 
get the largest note he could ; and, I assure you, it was with 
no trifling difficulty I could prevail on the old gentleman to 
take his £100 in small notes !" 

When O'Connell was at the Limerick assizes in 
1812, Standish O'Grady asked O'Connell to go with 
him to the play : 

" O'Connell declined, observing that the Limerick grand 
jurors were not the pleasantest folk in the world to meet after 
dinner. O'Grady went, but soon returned. 'Dan/ said he, 
' you were quite right. I had not been five minutes in the box, 
when some ten or a dozen noisy gentlemen came into it. It 
was small and crowded ; and, as I observed that one of the 
party had his head quite close to a peg on which I had hung 
my hat, I said very politely, " I hope, sir, my hat does not 
incommode you; if it does, pray allow me to remove it." 
"Faith," said he, " you may be sure it does not incommode 
me ; for if it did, d— n me, but I'd have kicked it out of the 
box, and yourself after it !" So, lest the worthy juror should 
change his mind as to the necessity of such a vigorous measure, 
I quietly put my hat on, and took myself off.' " 

It will scarcely be expected that the Liberator 
would be an admirer of Irish parsons, however 
friendly he might be with Irish Protestants. Nor 
can it be said that their character at that period was 
such as to command respect even from their own 
flocks. To read prayers once on Sunday, if they 

A Crack Preacher. 


had a congregation, was the extent of the ecclesiastical 
administration of their parishes, if, indeed, we except 
the time spent in tithe-hunting. And this occupa- 
tion, of which we shall say more hereafter, certainly 
did not tend to increase respect for their office. 

O'Connell used to relate an amusing case in which 
he was engaged against a parson for a breach of 
promise of marriage. The lady was a Miss Fitzgerald ; 
the gentleman, Parson Hawkesworth : 

" Hawkesworth," said he, "Lad certainly engaged the lad\ 'a 
affections very much. He had acquired fame enough to engage 
her ambition. He was a crack preacher — had been selected 
to preach before the Lord-Lieutenant ; his name occasionally 
got into the papers, which then was not often the case with 
private persons ; and, no doubt, this notoriety had its weight in 
the lady's calculations. The correspondence read upon the 
trial was comical enough. The lady, it appeared, had at one 
period doubted his fidelity, whereupon the parson writes to re- 
assure her in these words : ' Don't believe any one who says 
111 jilt you ! They lie, who say so ; and I pray that all such 
liars may be condemned to an eternity of itching without the 
benefit of scratching !' £3000 damages were given against 
him. He was unable to pay, and decamped to America upon 
a preaching speculation, which proved unsuccessful. He came 
back to Ireland, and married the prosecutrix /" 

Whatever may have been O'Connell's capabilities 
in the way of using language which was more forcible 
than elegant, there is no doubt that he found example 
in Parson Hawkesworth. 

The following anecdote is a specimen of the fashion 
in which justice was administered at the close of the 
lust century : 



" In the year 1798, said OConnell, " my friend , and 

his two brothers, were taken prisoners by a magistrate who 
owed their mother £2000. The worthy justice went to that 
lady and said, ' If you don't release my bond, I'll have your 
sons flogged and hanged.' ' Sir,' answered she, ' if you were 
to treat me in that manner, you could not extort the bond from 
me ; and I am much mistaken if my sons have not at least as 
much firmness as their mother.' Fortunately, Judge Day, who 
was a very humane man, went the circuit ; and as no witnesses 

appeared against the , he discharged them by proclamation. 

In pronouncing their discharge, Day gave the young men a 
sort of moral and political lecture, in which he congratulated 
them on their escape, and advised loyal conduct for the future. 

' You have no business to lecture us, my lord,' said , ' as 

if we were guilty of disloyalty. We are perfectly innocent, and 
are quite as loyal as your lordship. Had our enemies been 
able to establish any sort of case against us, they would not 
have failed to produce their witnesses. It is too bad then, my 
lord, to lecture us as if our conduct had in any respect been 
censurable.' Day, who was a thorough gentleman, bowed and 

said : f You are quite right, Mr. , and I was quite wrong. 

I beg your pardon.' Next morning the eldest brother was 
again seized and thrown into jail by the machinations of the 
worthy magistrate who owed his mother money. The jailer 
was a savage brute, and took every opportunity of tormenting 
him. One day he came to his cell, and said, with a diabolical 
grin, ' I've news that is bitter to you and pleasant to me — your 
two brothers have been hanged, and you are to be strung up 

to-morrow !' Mr. was well enough aware of the frightful 

character of the times to know that this was at least possible. 
'Is what you have told me really true ?' he asked of the jailer.. 
' Upon my oath, it is,' returned the jailer. ' Then, my man,' 

cried Mr. , ' before I leave this world, I shall have the 

satisfaction of giving you as good a licking as ever man got.' 
So saying, he pounced upon the jailer and wallopped him 
awfully. The jailer screamed, and his screams attracted per- 


8 >7 

sons without, who would have fired at Mr. through the 

grating in the door, only that he constantly kept the jailer 

between himself and the door. Mr. continued to thrash 

the jailer until he was unable, from exhaustion, to thrash 
him any longer. The jailer then went off, and soon returned 
with G8 lbs. of irons, with which he and his assistants 
loaded their prisoner. When ironed, he was laid on a bed 
and the jailer beat him with a loaded blackthorn stick as long 
as he was able to stand over him. He then kept him forty- 
eight hours without food ; and when the commanding-officer 
who inspected the prison arrived, he was utterly astonished how 

Mr. survived the treatment he had received. Finding 

that there was not the shadow of any accusation against him, 
that officer set him free upon his own responsibility. What 
times !" exclaimed O'Connell after he had narrated this inci- 
dent. "What a scene! The prisoner thrashing the jailer, 
and the jailer thrashing his prisoner ! What a country in which 
such things could be enacted I" 1 

1 We may be - thankful that there is no parallel for such circum- 
stances in Ireland at the present day ; but we cannot forget that 
equal, if not greater, atrocities have been committed recently under 
British rule in Jamaica and in India ; yet the Irish are spoken and 
written of as if they were still a nation of savages, and as if Eng- 
land should be their model. AVe quote the following from tbe 
Nation, 20th July, 1872. While England gives no better example, 
it can scarcely expect the Irish peasant to believe it a safe guide. 

" One of our weekly London contemporaries took genial occasion 
to speak of the Irish people — it was only last Saturday — as ' one of 
the inferior races for whom we' — bold Britons — 1 are morally bound 
to have all compassion and commiseration.' Side by side with this 
paternal outburst of sympathy for our inferiority, the same journal 
condenses the list of the criminal calendar for the previous seven 
days, which is well worth pondering. The list comprises the 
murder of a woman at Dartford ; a case of murder at Norfolk (sen- 
tence of death passed) ; a trigamy at Durham ; a manslaughter at 
Warwick ; an attempt at murder at the same place ; a murder at 


A Sharp Youth. 

The Dublin Evening Post was then the liberal 
paper of the day. During the war the latest news, 
old as it might be, was as eagerly sought for as the 
last telegram at the present time. The celebrated 
John Magee, of whom more hereafter, was the pro- 
prietor. In connexion with this paper O'Connell 
used to tell an amusing anecdote : 

" One day during the war James Connor and I dined at 
Mr. Mahony's, in Dublin, and after dinner we heard the news- 
vendors, as usual, calling out, ' The Post! The Dublin Eve- 
ning Post! Three packets in to -night' s Post /' The arrival 
of the packets was at that time irregular, and eagerly looked 
for. We all were impatient for the paper, and Mahony gave a 
fivepenny piece to his servant, a Kerry lad, and told him to 
go clown and buy the Post. The boy returned in a minute 
with a Dublin Evening Post, a fortnight old. The roguish 

Soutksea ; a suicide in Dorsetshire; a murder at Chorley; an in- 
fanticide in Shropshire ; a stabbing case in Yorkshire ; a murder 
and suicide at Wakefield ; assaults by drunken boys in Clerkenwell ; 
4 disgusting assaults by a Scripture reader' in Southwark, and a host 
of robberies which we have not time to particularise ; a manslaugh- 
ter in Smithfield ; a murder at Uxbridge ; a double murder in 
Hoxton ; a murder in Marylebone ; a manslaughter at Willenhall ; 
the discovery of three dead bodies in Kentish-town ; a murder at 
Leeds ; an attempted murder in Clerkenwell ; a suicide at Dover ; 
and, finally, an atrocious case of murder in Carmarthenshire ! In 
the Irish news of the same journal the week's chronicle of Irish 
crime cuts a poor figure by the side of its English and more enter- 
prising relative. It sets forth with deadly precision the report of an 
attempted agrarian outrage in Meath, and the sending of a threaten- 
ing letter to Sir Arthur Guinness, and there it ends. On the whole, 
we are not ashamed of the comparison, and we cheerfully acknow- 
ledge our inferiority — in crime only — to a people whose unbridled 
passions and murderous instincts have penned this blood-red chro- 
nicle of atrocities within the brief space of one week !" 

Darrynane House. 


news-vendor bad palmed off an old newspaper on the unsus- 
pecting Kerry tiger. Mr. Mahony stormed, Connor and I 
laughed, and Connor said, ' I wonder, gossoon, how you let 
the fellow cheat you ? Has not your master a hundred times 
told you that the dry papers are always old and good for 
nothing, and that new papers are always wet from the printing- 
office ? Here's another fivepenny. Be off, now, and take 
take care to bring us in a wet Post.' 1 Oh, never you mind 
the fi'peimy, sir,' said the boy, Til get the paper without it;' 
and he darted out of the room, while Mahony cried out, 'Hang 
that young blockhead, he'll blunder the business again.' But 
in less than five minutes the lad re-entered with a fresh, wet 
paper. We were all surprised, and asked him how he managed 
to get it without money. ' Oh, the aisiest way in life, your 
honour, said the urchin ; ' I just took the dry old Post, and 
cried it down the street a bit — Dublin "Evening Post! Dub- 
lin Evening Post! and a fool of a gentleman meets me at the 
corner, and buys my ould dry paper. So I whips across to a 
newsman I sees over the way, and buys this fine, fresh new 
Post for your honour with the money I got for the ould one.' " 

But, however O'Connell may have enjoyed bar- 
society and bar-jokes, there can be no question that 
home, as he considered Darrynane Abbey, was the 
place lie loved best. We do not like to think how 
sorrowful his heart must have been when lie looked 
at it for the last time. 

Darrynane House is situated close to a little bay, 
which is separated from the harbour of Ballinskilligs 
by a rocky promontory called the Abbey Island. 
Here are the ruins already described, and of which 
we have given an illustration. Many of the O'Connell 
family lie here, taking their long rest after the trou- 
bled life of the good old times. 


'Conndl at Home. 

The coast is wild and grand ; for the Atlantic 
waves dash in summer and winter in great waves on 
the rock-bound shore. Until the year 1839, when 
the new road from Cahirciveen was completed, men 
were employed with ropes to drag the carriages along 
some four or five miles of road, which was too preci- 
pitous for any other mode of transit. 

" The house is sheltered to the north and west by moun- 
tains, ranging from 1500 to 2000 feet in height. On the east, 
the view is bounded by a chain of high rocks, that divide the 
bay of Darrynane from that of Kenmare. Close to the house 
is a thriving plantation called the shrubbery, covering some ten 
or twelve acres of a most rocky and irregular tract, through the 
irregularities of which there are many very pretty winding- 
walks. In the midst of this shrubbery, perched high aloft upon 
an ivied rock, is a small circular turret, commanding, over the 
tops of the young trees, a view of the ocean and of the neigh- 
bouring hills. To this turret, Mr. O'Connell frequently retired, 
to cogitate in solitude over his future political movements. He 
had also a favourite walk in the garden, which is picturesquely 
situated amongst rocks, and contains some of the finest old 
hollies I have ever seen. 

"Darrynane House possesses tolerable accommodation, 
although it often proved scarcely sufficient for the numbers 
attracted by the hospitable habits and political celebrity of the 
owner. It was built at different periods, and without the 
slightest regard to any uniform plan of architecture ; a room 
was added whenever there arose a demand for increased accom- 
modation ; so that the whole mass presents a curious cluster of 
small buildings of different dates, heights, and sizes." 

We shall let O'Neill Daunt describe O'Connell at 

home : 

" On the third or fourth morning after my arrival at Darry- 
nane, I was summoned by Mr. O'Connell to accompany the 

A Luxurious Feast. 

hunting party. It was not quite six o'clock— the morning was 
clear and bright, and gave promise of a beautiful day. We 
followed a winding path called ' The Meadow Walk,' which 
crosses and recrosses a merry mountain brook ; we ascended 
the hill of Coomakista, crossed the line of the new road, and 
ere half an hour had elapsed, a hare was started. It was a 
glorious run ; the hare was in view for half a mile or more ; 
and as the dogs ran the scent they kept so close together that 
a sheet might have covered the pack. O'Connell, who enjoyed 
the hunt with infinite glee, walked and ran from rock to rock, 
to keep the doga in view. The mountain air had already 
sharpened my appetite, and I inquired rather anxiously when 
we should have breakfast. 

" 1 Not until we kill two hares,' replied O'Connell; ' we must 
earn our breakfast.' He then engaged in busy speculations on 
the course of the hare — she had doubled, and thrown out the 
dogs — the pack were at fault ; they had scattered, and were 
trying in ditferent directions to recover the scent. Ah ! Drum- 
mer hit the scent again, and now they were all once more in 
full pursuit. 

u * It was a glorious scene. Overhead was a cloudless sky; 
around us, on every side, was the most magnificent scenery, 
lighted up with brilliant sunshine. There was that finest of 
all music, the loud, full cry of the beagles returned by a thou- 
sand echoes ; the shouts of men and boys ringing sharp and 
cheerily along the hills ; and there was Daniel O'Connell him- 
self, equalling in agility men not half his age, pouring forth an 
exhaustless stream of jest and anecdote, and entering with 
joyous zeal into the fullest spirit of the noble sport. 

" Two hares were killed within an hour and a-half ; and we 
then sat down to breakfast in a small sheltered nook. It was a 
green hollow in the hill-side, about 900 feet above the level of 
the sea. Immediately over us projected a grey rock, which 
formed a sort of rude ceiling to the inner part of our mountain 
parlour. Breakfast in such a spot, and with such appetites, was 
truly a luxurious feast. A fragment of rock was our table ; some 


Life at Darrynane. 

of the party sat on stones, whilst others reclined in primitive 
fashion on the grass. The huntsmen, in their gay red jackets, 
and several of the peasantry, formed an irregular line upon the 
outskirts. The noble clogs sat around with an air of quiet 
dignity, that seemed indicative of conscious merit. Far be- 
neath us was the Atlantic, sparkling in the morning sun ; to 
the right were the mountain isles of Scarriff and the bold rocks 
of Skellig. 

" The post-boy arrived with the letter-bag while we were at 
breakfast. Mr. O'Connell read his letters on the mountain ; 
the hunt was then resumed, and with such success, that, if I 
mistake not, we brought home seven hares at sunset. 

" On days when he did not hunt, the mode in which he 
usually disposed of his time at Darrynane was as follows : 
After breakfast the newspapers and letters occupied, in general, 
from one to two hours ; he would then, if the clay was fine, 
stroll out for a while to the beach, the garden, or to his turret 
in the shrubbery. Whenever I accompanied him on any of 
these walks, he invariably pointed out among the surrounding 
rocks the course of some hunt, and detailed with a minuteness 
that evinced the interest he took in the subject, the various 
turns of the hare, and the exploits of the dogs. He would then 
return to the house, and spend the rest of the day till dinner in 
his study. One day I found him reading the ' Collegians,' 
which he told me was his favourite work of fiction. ' I have 
been reading it over again,' said he, ' with a melancholy interest. 
Scanlan was the real name of the man who is called Hardress 
Cregan in the novel. I was Scanlan's counsel at the trial, and 
I knocked up the principal witness against him. But all would 
not do ; there were proofs enough besides, that were quite 
sufficient to convict him.' 

" He always occupied the head of his table at dinner, and, 
with rare exceptions, was talkative aud jocular during that meal. 
He generally sat about an hour after it, and then returned to 
the study, where he remained until bed- time." 

A letter which O'Connell wrote from Danynane 

Boyhood Dreams. 


to Walter Savage Lander, in October, 1838, shows 
how he loved his mountain home. He says : 

"I could show you at noontide, when the stem south- 
wester had blown long and rudely, the mountain waves coming 
in from the illimitable ocean, in majestic succession, expending 
their gigantic force, and throwing up stupendous masses of foam 
against the more gigantic and more stupendous mountain cliffs 
that fence not only this my native spot, but form that eternal 
barrier which prevents the wild Atlantic from submerging the 
cultivated plains and high-steepled villages of proud Britain 
herself. Or, were you with me amidst the Alpine scenery that 
surrounds my humble abode, listening to the eternal roar of the 
mountain torrent, as it bounds through the rocky defiles of my 
native glens, I would venture to tell you how I was born within 
the sound of the everlasting wave, and how my dreamy boy- 
hood dwelt upon imaginary intercourse with those who are 
dead of yore, and fed its fond fancies upon the ancient and long- 
faded glories of that land which preserved literature and Chris- 
tianity, when the rest of the now civilised Europe was shrouded 
in the darkness of godless ignorance. Yes ; my expanding 
spirit delighted in these dreams, till catching from them an en- 
thusiasm which no disappointment can embitter, nor accumu- 
lating years diminish, I formed the high resolve — to leave my 
native land better after my death than I found her at my birth ; 
and, if possible, to make her what she ought to be, 

' Great, glorious, and free, 
First flower of the earth, and first gem of the sea.' 

" Perhaps, if I could show you the calm and exquisite 
beauty of these capacious bays and mountain promontories, 
softened in the pale moonlight which shines this lovely evening, 
till all, which during the day was grand and terrific, has become 
calm and serene in the silent tranquillity of the clear night, 
perhaps you would readily admit that the man who has been so 

VOL. II. 4 


Power of Ajyirehension. 

often called a ferocious demagogue, is, in truth, a gentle lover 
of Nature, an enthusiast of all her beauties : 

' Fond of each gentle and each dreary scene,' 

and catching, from the loveliness as well as the dreariness of 
the ocean and Alpine scenes with which it is surrounded, a 
greater ardour to promote the good of man, in his overwhelm- 
ing admiration of the mighty works of God." 

O'Connell's power of apprehension was remark- 
able. While apparently absorbed in letters or papers 
of the greatest importance, lie would often hear and 
answer some observation, which might be made in 
the lowest tone, and at the far end of a large room. 
He once gave considerable annoyance to a legal 
friend, who was consulting him about an act of 

" The lawyer was reading aloud the disputable parts of the 
act, when he suddenly stopped short, exclaming : ' Oh ! Mr. 
O'Connell, I see you are reading something else; I'll wait till 
you have done.' * Go on ! go on, man !' said O'Connell, with- 
out raising his eyes from the document with which he was en- 
gaged, ' I hear you quite distinctly. If you had as much to do 
as I have, you would long ago have been trained into the 
knack of devoting the one moment to two occupations.' The 
other obeyed, and when he had concluded his queries, O'Con- 
nell put aside the second subject of his thoughts, and delivered 
a detailed reply to all the questions of his visitor." 

O'Connell's clients were not always of his own 
way of thinking, either in religion or politics. 

" Mr. Hedges Eyre, a gentleman of Orange notoriety, had 
invariably engaged O'Connell as his counsel. On one occasion 
a brother Orangeman severely censured Hedges Eyre for em- 
ploying the Catholic leader. ' You've got seven counsel without 

The Doctor s Patient 

him,' quoth this sage adviser, 'and why should you give your 
mouey to that Papist rascal ?' 

" Hedges did not make any immediate reply; hut they hoth 
remained in court, watching the progress of the trial. The 
counsel on the opposite side pressed a point for non-suit, and 
carried the judge (Johnson) along with them. O'Connell re- 
monstrated against the non-suit, protesting against so great an 
injustice. The judge seemed obdurate. ' "Well, hear me at 
all events !' said O'Connell. ' Xo, I won't !' replied the judge ; 
1 I've already heard the leading counsel.' 1 But I am conduct- 
ing counsel, my lord,' rejoined O'Connell, 'and more intimately 
aware of the details of the case than my brethren. I entreat, 
therefore, you will hear me.' The judge ungraciously con- 
sented, and in five minutes O'Connell had argued him out of 
the non-suit. ' Now,' said Hedges Eyre, in triumph, to his 
Orange confrere — ' now do you see why I gave my money to 
that Papist rascal ?' " 

In 1800, O'Connell was indebted to Edmund 
Lees, then Secretary to the General Post- Office, for 
the establishment of a post-office at Caherciveen. 
He gained a law-suit for Mr. Lees, who evinced his 
gratitude in this practical manner. 

" One of O'Connell's stories was about a physician who was 
detained for many days at the Limerick assizes, to which he 
had been subpoenaed as a witness. He pressed the judge to 
order him his expenses. ' On what plea do you claim your ex- 
penses ? ' demanded the judge. t On the plea of my heavy 
personal loss and inconvenience, my lord,' replied the simple 
applicant ; I have been kept away from my patients these five 
days, and if I am kept here much longer, how clo I know but 
they'll get well*'" 

From the year 1813 to the year 1815 O'Connell 
was occupied, or rather overwhelmed with occupa- 


Trial of Fitzpatrick. 

tion, by his efforts to keep the Catholic party together, 
and his own constantly increasing business. 

The celebrated trial of John Magee took place in 
1813. He was the proprietor of the Dublin Evening 
Post ; and a review of the careers of the various Irish 
viceroys who had preceded the Duke of Richmond, 
was inserted in this paper when the duke retired. 
The article was written by Mr. Scully, the author of 
a well-known and most important work upon the 
penal laws. In early life he did not appear as a 
patriot ; but a careful consideration of the state of 
the country could not fail to arouse any honest man 
to do his best to advocate her cause. His bookseller 
was imprisoned for publishing his book, and his 
editor was imprisoned for publishing his article. 
Altogether Mr. Scully was not pleasant as a literary 
friend. The trial of the publisher arose thus : — In 
the year 1809, a Catholic farmer named Barry, a 
native of the county Wexford, was sentenced to 
death, and hanged, although there was complete 
evidence after his unjust conviction to prove his in- 
nocence. Mr. Scully mentioned this fact, for it was 
a fact, in his Statement of the Penal Laws ; and as 
Mr. Hugh Fitzpatrick was the publisher, he was pro- 

The Attorney-General Saurin said there was in- 
ternal evidence that the Statement of the Penal Laws 
was compiled by a lawyer, and that, though he was 
safe from punishment because he was anonymous, he 
ought not to be so from remorse for his conduct. 

Trial of FiUpatnck. 


Mr. Scully at once rose in court, and said lie would 
give the author's name, if he would be guaranteed an 
impartial trial of the facts. The Attorney-General 
- knew the facts as well as any one, and how terribly 
damaging they were to the Government. He said he 
'stood there to prosecute a libeller, not to defend 
the Government;" a very sensible reply. So the 
affair ended — not, however, without another appeal 
from Scully, to whom Saurin observed a discreet 

The case went on. O'Connell examined Mr. 
Burrows Campbell, who had been counsel for the 
murdered man. It was proved thereby that counsel 
had applied to postpone the trial ; that witnesses 
could not be procured, the notice was so short; that 
Norbury, of sanguinary memory, refused the applica- 
tion ; that counsel thereupon threw up his brief ; that 
counsel, after the conviction of the murdered man, 
wrote to Lord Norbury concerning the voluntary 
affidavits of those persons who were to have been 
Barry's witnesses, in which they swore that he was in 
their company at a distance of forty-five miles from 
the place where the murder was committed ; that 
counsel only received a verbal reply ; that he applied 
then to the Attorney-General ; that the Attorney- 
General took no notice whatever of the matter ; that 
l.e did not believe it was because the man was a 
Catholic, that he was hanged being innocent ; that 
Catholics were not so badly treated as that — to which 
Mr. O'Connell replied, " No, they are not all hanged ;" 


Trial of Magee. 

that he spoke of the circumstances to every one ; and 
that he considered them " very shocking." 

O'Connell made an admirable defence. He 
showed that Mr. Pole and Sir Charles Saxton were 
the persons in office when the book was published, 
and that two other persons held their situation when 
the information was filed. The verdict was, of 
course, against Mr. Fitzpatrick. O'Connell then 
made an application, to have the verdict set aside on 
ground of a misdirection " on the part of the judge 
who had charged the jury. Id his long and eloquent 
address we find the following sentence • 

" It was matter of Irish history, that when these State 
prosecutions were carrying on against a Catholic of this country, 
not one man of his own religion was suffered to remain upon 
the panel." 

The trial of Magee created immense sensation — 
none the less that the Attorney-General was legally 
dissected by O'Connell, in a fashion which it has not 
often fallen to the lot of an Attorney-General to bear. 
O'Connell, certainly, only stated facts, but he had a 
very clear way of putting facts. He opened his ad- 
dress by expressing " his inability to discover what 
he had to reply to." He then proceeded to reason in 
anticipation of a conviction, and showed the hopeless 
manner in which that gentleman had involved himself 
in stating the subjects of the indictment. He had 
declared that Mr. Magee was indicted as the proprie- 
tor of a newspaper, or the printer of a newspaper, 
and as having charged the Duke of Richmond with 

Trial of Mage e. 


being a murderer, yet none of these counts were 
found in the indictment. O'Connell then took up the 
precedent on which Mr. Saurin acted, and showed, to 
the satisfaction of the audience, if not to the satisfac- 
tion of the counsel, that the case proved precisely the 
reverse of that for which it was quoted. 

The twice-postponed trial was commenced on the 
2Gth of June 1813. The Attorney-General opened 
the case, and witnesses were called to prove publica- 
tion. There was a full bar on either side, the Attor- 
ney-General and the Solicitor-General being for the 
prosecution, with Sergeants Moore, Ball, and M'Mahon. 
The counsels for the defendant were O'Connell, 
Wallace, Hamilton, Finlay, and Philips. The matter 
was one of very grave importance, both for the Crown 
and for the people. It involved the question of the 
liberty of the press, and each side came to the forensic 
battle with the full knowledge of what was involved. 

The Attorney-General imperilled his reputation, 
if he did not injure his cause, by using bad language, 
by descending to personal abuse of the man he 
was prosecuting. He called him a " malefactor' 7 a 
"ruffian," and other names, with which we do not 
choose to defile these pages. 

O'Connell's defence of Magee was his master effort 
at the bar. The concentrated yet galling scorn with 
which he treated both the manner and the matter of 
his opponent was something which could never have 
been forgotten by those who listened to it. The 
apparent compassion which he manifested when he 


Trial of Magee. 

knew that he had driven him to desperation was in- 
imitably conveyed. He "pitied" him — he "forgave" 
him, he declared him an object of compassion; he 
selected carefully each vulgar epithet, and repeated 
them for the consideration of the jury, while he took 
care to expose the low origin of the unfortunate 
lawyer, by expressing his wonder how he could have 
recollected the forms of speech which must have been 
familiar to him in early life, " after having mixed for 
thirty years in polished society." And then, having 
briefly alluded to his " well-pensioned but ill-read 
newspaper," and its imitation of Saurin's bad lan- 
guage, and denouncing " the style and manner of the 
Attorney-General's discussion," he proceeded to the 

O'Connell was well aware that his speech would 
be read in England by most of the leading politicians 
of the day, and he took the opportunity of giving 
them a condensed history of Ireland, seasoned by a 
pungent commentary on British misrule. It was in 
vain that the Chief Justice meekly said, "What, Mr. 
O'Connell, can this have to do with the question the 
jury have to try?" Mr. O'Connell certainly did not 
snub him because he was meek, but he took excellent 
care to continue his defence precisely as he had begun 
it. He declared that he was "compelled" by the 
Attorney-General to be political, though he had 
hitherto made it a " rigid rule of his professional con- 
duct" not to mingle politics with his forensic duties. 

This was true, but we suspect, if an equally good 

Trial of Magee 


opportunity had offered, that the " rigid rule " would 
have been relaxed. It was true, also, that the 
unfortunate Attorney-General had given him an 
opportunity, which that individual must have deeply 
regretted to the end of his life. 

The Attorney-General said that Catholics were 
seditious, treasonable, and revolutionary ; it was an 
old story that, but the same charge, though still older 
in the present day, answers political purposes too well 
to be abandoned easily. O'Connell said that the 
Catholics only asked to participate in the advantages 
of the constitution : 

" Strange inconsistent voice of calumny," he exclaimed. 
"You charge us with intemperance in our exertions for a par- 
ticipation in the constitution, and you charge us, at the same 
time, almost in the same sentence, with a design to overturn 
that constitution. The dupes of your hypocrisy may believe 
you ; but, base calumniators, you do not, you cannot believe 
yourselves !" 

The Attorney-General had bosted of his triumph 
over the Pope and Popery. " I have put down," he 
said, " the Catholic Committee ; I will put down at 
my good time the Catholic Board." He was unwise 
as well as ungentlemanly to taunt O'Connell thus : it 
was the low boast of that ascendency which had kept 
Ireland disunited for centuries. O'Connell replied : 

" This boast is partly historical, partly prophetical. He 
was wrong in his history — he is quite mistaken in his projmecy. 
He did not put down the Catholic Committee ; we gave up that 
name the moment that it was confessedly avowed, that this 
sapient Attorney- General's polemico-legal controversy dwindled 


Trial of Magee. 

into a mere dispute about words. He told us that in the 
English language ' pretence ' means ' purpose.' Had it been 
French, and not English, we might have been inclined to 
respect his judgment, but in point of English we venture to 
differ with him ; we told him ' purpose/ good Mr. Attorney- 
General, is just the reverse of ' pretence.' The quarrel grew 
warm and animated; we appealed to common sense, to the 
grammar, and to the dictionary : common sense, grammar, and 
the dictionary decided in our favour. He brought his appeal to 
this Court. Your lordship and your brethren unanimously de- 
cided that, in point of law — mark, gentlemen of the jury, the 
sublime wisdom of law — the court decided that, in point of law, 
'pretence' does mean 'purpose/' 

" Fully contented with this very reasonable and more satis- 
factory decision, there still remained a matter of fact between 
us : the Attorney-General charged us with being representa- 
tives ; we denied all representation. He had two witnesses to 
prove the fact for him — they swore to it one way at one trial, 
and directly the other way at the next. An honourable, 
intelligent, and enlightened jury disbelieved those witnesses at 
the first trial ; matters were better managed at the second 
trial — the jury were better arranged; I speak delicately, 
gentlemen; the jury were better arranged, as the witnesses 
were better informed ; and, accordingly, there was one verdict 
for us on the representative question, and one verdict against 

" He concluded this part of his subject by exclaiming : ' Oh ! 
the Attorney- General ! the best and wisest of men !' O'Connell's 
defence of the Press was masterly ; and he showed how, when 
it first came into existence, it was stifled and trammelled by the 
Star Chamber. When do the people want protection ? — when 
the Government is engaged in delinquencies, oppression, and 
crimes. It is against these that the people want the protection 
of the Press. Now, I put it to your plain sense, whether the 
Press can afford such protection, if it be punished for treating 
of these crimes ? 

Trial of Magee. 


" Still more, can a shadow of protection be given by a Press 
that is not permitted to mention the errors, the talents, and the 
striking features of an administration ? Here is a watchman 
admitted by the Attorney-General to be at his post to warn the 
people of their danger, and the first thing that is done to this 
watchman is to knock him down and bring him to a dungeon, 
for announcing the danger he is bound to disclose. I agree 
with the Attorney-General, the Press is a protection, but it is 
not in its silence or in its voice of flattery; It can protect only 
by speaking out when there is danger, or error, or want of 

" The Attorney- General told us, rather ludicrously, that 
they, meaning the duke's predecessors, included, of course, him- 
self. How a man could be included amongst his predecessors, 
it would be difficult to discover. It seems to be that mode of 
expression which would indicate, that the Attorney-General, 
notwithstanding his foreign descent, has imbibed some of the 
language of the native Irish. But our blunders arise, not like 
this, from a confusion of idea; they are generally caused by too 
great condensation of thought ; they are, indeed, frequently of 
the head, but never — never of the heart. Would I could say 
so much for the Attorney- General ; his blunder is not to be 
attributed to his cool and cautious head ; it sprung, I much 
fear, from the misguided bitterness of the bigotry of his heart ! 

" Well, gentlemen, this sentence does, in broad and distinct 
terms, charge the predecessors of the duke, but not the duke 
himself, with insult, oppression, murder, and deceit. But it is 
history, gentlemen : are you prepared to silence the voice of 
history ? Are you disposed to suppress the recital of facts — 
the story of the events of former days ? Is the historian, and 
the publisher of history, to be exposed to indictment and 

A resume of Irish history followed, and as 
O'Connell related each act of English cruelty, perfidy, 
and illegality, he asked, " In what ladylike language 


Trial of Magee. 

shall these things be recorded ?" He showed that, 
up to this period, trial by jury in Ireland had been 
"a mockery of law and justice." It was then in- 
sinuated that it was very far from being otherwise at 
that very time. 

He flun^ scorn on those who countenanced and 
encouraged legal dishonesty, while they distributed 
Bibles, and called themselves suppressors of vice. 

In the article for which Magee was indicted, the 
expression, " the profligate, unprincipled Westmore- 
land" was especially noted. On this O'Connell 
related some of the shameless and almost nameless 
crimes of this wretched man, and observed : 

" What if these scenes were enacted in the open day- 
would you call that profligacy, sweet distributors of Bibles? 
The women of Ireland have always been beauteous to a pro- 
verb; they were, without an exception, chaste beyond the 
terseness of a proverb to express ; they are still as chaste as in 
former days ; but the depraved example of a depraved court- 
has furnished some exceptions, and the action of criminal con- 
versation, before the time of Westmoreland unknown, has since 
become more familiar to our courts of justice. 

" Call you the sad example which produced those excep- 
tions — call you that profligacy, suppressors of vice and Bible 
distributors ? The vices of the poor are within the reach of 
control; to suppress them, you can call in aid the church- 
warden and the constable ; the justice of the peace will readily 
aid you, for he is a gentleman; the Court of Sessions will 
punish those vices for you by fine, by imprisonment, and, if 
you are urgent, by whipping. But, suppressors of vice, who 
shall aid you to suppress the vices of the great? Are you 
sincere, or are you, to use your own phraseology, whitewashed 
tombs — painted charnel-houses ? Be ye hypocrites ? If you 

Trial of Ma gee. 


are not— if 3-011 be sincere— (and oh! Low I wish that 3*011 
were) — if you be sincere, I will steadily require to know of you, 
what aid you expect to suppress the vices of the rich and great ? 
Who will assist you to suppress those vices ? The churchwar- 
den ! why, he, I believe, handed them into the best pew in one 
of your cathedrals, that they might lovingly hear divine service 
together. The constable ! — absurd. The justice of the peace ! — 
no, upon his honour. As to the Court of Sessions you cannot 
expect it to interfere ; and, my lords, the judges are really so 
busy at the assizes, in hurrying the grand juries through the 
presentments, that there is no leisure to look after the scan- 
dalous faults of the great. Who, then, sincere and candid sup- 
pressors of vice, can aid you? — The Press; the Press alone 
talks of the profligacy of the great ; and, at least, shames into 
decency those whom it may fail to correct. The Press is your 
assistant, but your only one. Go, then, men of conscience, 
men of religion — go, then, and convict John Magee, because 
he published that Westmoreland was profligate and unprincipled 
as a lord-lieutenant — do convict, and then return to your dis- 
tribution of Bibles and to your attacks upon the recreations of 
the poor, under the name of vices ! 

" Do convict the only aid which virtue has, and distribute 
your Bibles, that you may have the name of being religious ; 
upon your sincerity depends my client's prospect of a verdict. 
Does he lean upon a broken reed ?" 

Camden had been called "the cold-hearted and 
cruel Camden." O'Connell pleaded justification of 
the libel, and re-asserted it : 

"I pass on from the sanctified portion of the jury which I 
have latterly addressed, and I call the attention of you all to 
the next member of the sentence : 

" ' The cold-hearted and cruel Camden.' 

" Here I have your prejudices all armed against me. In 
the administration of Camden, your faction was cherished and 
triumphant. Will 3*ou prevent him from being called cold and 


Trial of Magee. 

cruel ? Alas ! to-day, why have I not men to address who 
would listen to me for the sake of impartial justice ? But even 
with you the case is too powerful to allow me to despair. 

"Well, I do say, the cold and cruel Camden. Why, on 
one circuit, during his administration, there were one h-un- 


hanged ! I understand one escaped ; hut he was a soldier 
who murdered a peasant, or something of that trivial nature — 
NINETY-SEVEN victims in one circuit ! ! ! 

" In the meantime it was necessary, for the purposes of 
the Union, that the flame of rebellion should he fed. The 
meetings of the rebel colonels in the north were, for a length 
of time, regularly reported to Government; but the rebellion 
was not then ripe enough ; and whilst the fruit was coming to 
maturity, under the fostering hand of the administration, the 
wretched dupes atoned on the gallows for allowing themselves 
to be deceived." 

He spoke then In glowing language of the sol- 
dierly Abercromby and the heroic Moore, men whom 
England delighted to honour, whose names will ever 
be enshrined in history as amongst the bravest and 
best of her soldiers ; and he showed how they had 
characterised the administration of Camden, and the 
fashion in which. Ireland was governed during the 

But perhaps what told most on the Attorney- 
General's case, after the allusions to his own origin, 
was the allusion to his own politics. In Ireland at 
least, men should be cautious in early life ; for when 
some unhappy judge or Queen's Counsel comes for- 
ward to denounce in scathing and vengeful language 
the delinquencies of his victims, it will perhaps be 

Trial of Magee. 


found that they have only followed in his footsteps 
at an humble distance ; and for one unwise expression 
on their part, half a dozen criminal suggestions may 
be on record against the judge or the counsel. 

"In humble and obscure distance I followed the footsteps 
of my present adversaries. What their sentiments were then 
of the authors of the Union I beg to read to you ; I will read 
them from a newspaper set up for the mere purpose of opposing 
the Union, and conducted under the control of these gentlemen. 
If their editor should be gravely denied, I shall only reply — 
* Oh ! cease your Funning.' 1 

" The charge of being a Jacobin was at that time made 
against the present Attorney-General — him, plain William 
Saurin— in the very terms, and with just as much truth as ho 
now applies it to my clients. His reply shall serve for that of 
Mr. Magee. I take it from the Anti-Union of 22nd March, 

"'To the charge of Jacobin, Mr. Saurin said he knew not 
what it meant, as applied to him, except it ivas an opposition 
to the will of the British minister.' 

" So says Mr. Magee ; but, gentlemen, my eye lights upon 
another passage of Mr. Saurin's, in the same speech from which 
X have quoted the above. It was in these words : 

" 1 Mr. Saurin admitted that debates might sometimes pro- 
duce agitations, but that was the price necessarily paid for 

" Oh, how I thank this good Jew for the word. Yes, 
agitation is, as Mr. Saurin well remarked, the price necessarily 
paid for liberty. We have paid the price, gentlemen, and the 
honest man refuses to give us the goods. 

" Now, gentlemen, of this Mr. Saurin, then an agitator, I 
beg leave to read the opinion upon this Union, the author of 

1 A pamphlet under this title was published by the Solicitor- 
General ; it was full of wit and talent. 


Trial of Magee. 

which we have only called artful and treacherous. From his 
speech of the 13th of March, 1800, I select those passages : 

" Mr. Saurin said he felt it his duty to the crown, to the 
country, and to his family, to warn the minister of the dreadful 
consequences of persevering in a measure which the people of 
Ireland almost unanimously disliked.' 

" And again : 

" ( He, for one, would assert the principles of the glorious 
revolution, and boldly declare, in the face of the nation, that 
when the sovereign power dissolved the compact that existed 
between the Government and the people, that moment the 
right of resistance accrues. 

" i Whether it would be prudent in the people to avail them- 
selves of that right, would be another question. But if a 
legislative union were forced on the country, against the will of 
its inhabitants, it would be a nullity, and resistance to it would 
be a struggle against usurpation, and not a resistance against 

"May I be permitted just to observe, how much more 
violent this agitator of the year 1800, than we poor and timid 
agitators of the year 1813. When did we talk of resistance 
being a question of prudence ? Shame upon the men who call 
us intemperate, and yet remember their own violence. 

" But, gentlemen, is the Attorney- General at liberty to 
change the nature of things with his own official and professional 
prospects ? I am ready to admit that he receives thousands 
of pounds by the year of the public moneys, in his office of 
Attorney- General — thousands from the Crown- Solicitor — thou- 
sands, for doing little work, from the Custom-house ; but does 
all this public booty with which he is loaded alter the nature of 
things, or prevent that from being a deceitful measure, brought 
about by artful and treacherous means, against which Mr. 
Saurin, in 1800, preached the holy doctrine of insurrection, 
sounded the tocsin of resistance, and summoned the people of 
the land to battle against it as against usurpation ? 

<( In 1800, he absolves the subjects from their allegiance, if 

The Jury brought to the Bar. 


the usurpation, styled the Union, will be carried ; and he, this 
identical agitator, in 1813 indicts a man, and calls him a 
ruffian, for speaking of the contrivers of the Union, not as 
usurpers, but as artful, treacherous men. Gentlemen, pity the 
situation in which he has placed himself — and pray, do not 
think of inflicting punishment upon my client for his extreme 

At the conclusion of this wonderful speech, 
O'Connell proved that the Attorney-General had 
been asked to prosecute a paper which had con- 
tained gross libels upon Catholics, and that he 
had refused. O'Connell concluded thus : 

" There are amongst you men of great religious zeal, of 
much public piety : Are you sincere '? Do you believe what 
you profess ? With all this zeal, with all this piety, if there 
any conscience amongst you ? Is there any terror of violating 
your oaths '? Be ye hypocrites, or does genuine religion in- 
spire ye ? If you be sincere, if you have conscience, if your 
oaths can control your interests — then Mr. Magee confidently 
expects an acquittal. 

" If amongst you there be cherished one ray of pure re- 
ligion, if amongst you there glow a single spark of liberty, if I 
have alarmed religion or roused the spirit of freedom in one 
breast amongst you, Mr. Magee is safe — and his country is 
served ; but if there be none — if you be slaves and hypocrites, 
he will await your verdict, and despise it." 

The verdict, of course, was for the Crown. 

V9L. II. 


(Lbaptcr Hintlj. 


The English Catholics: The Duke of Norfolk and 
Dr. Milncr : Castle-Browne and the Jesuits: 
Peel and Dr. Kenny : Public Honours : Duel- 
ling and Duellists: The Irish Catholic Aris- 
tocracy : D'Esterre, his Challenge and Fatal 
Duel: Agrarian Outrages: Rev. John Hamil- 
ton, his Plots and Tools: Affair of Honour 
with Peel: PeeVs Gift to Ireland. 

BXTTgOWEVER much O'Connell's 
memory is revered in Ireland, 
feS^ssa it ought to be revered through- 
out the whole Catholic, or we 
should rather say, Christian 
world, since by far the greater 
number of Christians are Ca- 
tholics. It certainly requires a very 
careful study of his life to know the 
obstacles with which he had to con- 
tend, and which he overcame. 

It is not, we think, saying too much 
/> \\ to assert that O'Connell was mainly instru- 
mental in saving the Catholic Church from 
the terrible consequences which would have fol- 
lowed the acceptance of the Veto. It required an 


English Catholics. 

intelligence and a mind like his to grasp the bearings 
of the whole case, and to sacrifice the present apparent 
good in order to avert the future corresponding evil. 

We have already said something of the political 
opinions of English Catholics. They made then, we 
much fear that some few make still, the fatal mistake 
of dissociating themselves from their Irish brethren. 
We have seen how some of them were even willing 
to forego the name of Catholic, and their self-respect 
along with it, for the miserable imaginary advantage 
of a higher social respectability. It is a matter of 
nistory, that the great majority — that, m fact, an over- 
whelming majority— of English Catholics apostatised 
from their religion to preserve their worldly goods. 
A noble few remained faithful, but the leaven of 
worldliness was at work even amongst these few, and 
they readily listened to any specious plea which 
would tend to lessen that isolation from their Pro- 
testant fellow-countrymen which they felt to be, and 
which was, a social bar sinister. They seemed to 
have forgotten that the religion to which they belong- 
ed did not promise them either temporal prosperity 
or worldly honour, and that it might demand the 
sacrifice of both. 

There were, even then, men in England who had 
renounced their religion, because they had clear views 
of what it demanded. They were men who had 
quietly counted the cost. They knew very well what 
their religion required, but they had made up their 
minds not to submit to its requirements. They were, 

A Doubtful Triumph. 

if I may say so, honest apostates. There was yet 
another class who also knew what their religion re- 
quired, but who were always trying to make the 
requirements of their religion square in with the 
requirements of the world. They might as well have 
tried to square the circle. They failed miserably. 
They lost their own self-respect, and they lost the 
respect of others. They gained nothing- in this 
world ; as for the next, there are some words on 
record, uttered by Eternal Truth, about the folly of 
being ashamed of Him here, and the certainty of 
eternal shame for those who yield to this temptation. 

O 'Council hated humbug. He believed in an 
honest Protestant, he respected an honest Catholic, 
but he could not endure one who professed to believe 
a certain creed, and was nevertheless ashamed of it. 

O'Connell was not singular in his opinions. 

The Evening Pod of the 10th June 1813, contains 
the following : 

" Extract of a private letter received at our office this 
morning, dated 

" 1 London, Monday ^ 1th June. 

" ' Two English Catholics of rank waited upon his grace 
the Duke of Norfolk, on Saturday last, to inform him of the 
valorous exploit of their hoard, at its meeting of the 29th ult., 
in expelling the venerable Milner from their room, with shouts 
of indignity and wrath. 

" ' The duke, who was bred a Catholic, retains his ancient 
habits of intimacy with the bishop, and although he renounced 
Popery for political pursuits, yet he has not, like vulgar rene- 
gades, withdrawn his support from the Catholic cause. Hia 
two noble visitors having detailed to him their honourable 


A Stinging Rebuke. 

triumph of the 29th May: " Aye, you have done well," ob- 
served his grace, with the keenest irony, "I applaud you for 
this; it is just what I ought to wish. You are following my 
example. You will soon become good Protestants. I have 
been only thirty-five years beforehand with you. But, after 
all, let me tell you, that Doctor Milner is only defending the 
true old Catholic religion." 

" ' The visitors felt the sting, took their leave, and returned 
to Stanhope Street.' " 

We have not space, and we candidly admit that 
we have not inclination, to enter into a detail of the 
pitiful squabbles connected with this subject. The 
Irish episcopacy and the Irish people were firm, as 
they have ever been, in the cause of truth and justice, 
and the cause of truth and justice triumphed. 1 

In 1813, Castle Browne, in the county Kildare, 
was purchased by the Jesuits. This proceeding, of 

1 When Quarantotti's rescript arrived in Ireland in 1814, Dr. 
Lanigan, the eminent Irish ecclesiastical historian, opposed it most 
-vigorously. He showed that to decide such a point would have re- 
quired the deliberation of the whole congregation of Propaganda, 
and even of an (Ecumenical Courcil. In a letter which he wrote to 
the Dublin Evening Post, he said ; " The document is not from his 

Holiness Pius VII nor is there a word to indicate any sort 

of consent or approbation from the Sovereign Pontiff or any one of 
his cardinals. Quarantotti refers to no authority but his own." 

In an admirable little work, " Notices of the Life and Character 
of the Most Rev. Dr. Murray," by the Kev. William Meagher, now 
Monseigneur Meagher — Dublin, 1853— the" whole subject is fully 
and ably treated. This work would be well worth republishing for 
many reasons. On Good Friday, 1816, Dr. Murray delivered a 
most powerful sermon against the Veto. " He implored the mis- 
guided advocates of vetoism not to impose new and disgraceful 
bands on the mystical body of the Redeemer." 

Jesuits at Cattle Browne. 


course excited the wrath of the Orange party. The 
Jesuits have had the singular honour of being noted 
and persecuted more than the other religious orders 
in the Church. The very name is made a by-word 
and reproach : and men who ought to know better, 
and whose understanding we shall not insult by sup- 
posing them in the state of gross ignorance which 
their words would seem to indicate, find a singular 
pleasure in misrepresenting the Society for any 
excuse, or for none. 

The name has done service as a watchword of 
bigotry, and a has les Jesuites has been a party cry of 
intolerance for several centuries. There will probably 
always be a certain class of men who will find the cry 
too convenient to abandon it, 

O'Connell at once came to the rescue. He intro- 
duced the subject at a meeting of the Catholic Board 
on the 24th December, 1813 : 

" Under date of the 18th of last November, a newspaper 
in the pay of the Castle has the following tirade, upon the 
occasion of the seat called Castle Browne in Kildare, having 
been, as it asserts, purchased by Jesuits : 'Ireland stands in 
imminent danger. If Popery succeeds, her fairest plains will 
once more witness days worthy of Bloody Mary ; and the walls 
of Deny shall again become the lamentable bulwarks against 
Popish treachery and massacre !' Well, this from men who 
hate the expression of any kind of bigotry — who are in a rage 
at Dr. Dromgoole for using the word ' novelty' in a disrespectful 
sense ! It is, one would think, rather uncivil. ' Papist 
treachery and massacre ' are perhaps nearly as bad as ' Pro- 
testant novelty.' But this is a mere jest compared with a 
paragraph which I found in a Government paper of the 2nd of 

428 Catholics Officially Traduced. 

this present December. Hear it with patience : ' The letter of 
Cranmer (alluding to a letter inserted in that paper) shows the 
times respectively when each of the fundamental tenets of 
Popery was invented- — viz., the power of the Pope to dispense 
with oaths, and depose sovereign princes by absolving subjects 
from their oaths of allegiance, the nullity of oaths to heretics, 
their extirpation as a religious duty ! ' 

" Kecollect that it is not a mere isolated individual ; it is a 
man patronised and salaried by the administration — a man paid 
with our money — that has the efirontry to traduce us thus ; to 
attribute to us, as fundamental tenets, doctrines of perjury, 
murder, and treason — doctrines which, if they were those of 
the Church of Rome, I would not belong to her communion for 
an hour — doctrines which shock humanity, and would make 
religion the most cruel and the most absurd mockery ! 

" Where is now that fever of zeal and fever of liberality that 
induced the public press to strain all its energies on the attack 
of Dr. Dromgoole ? Whom did his published speech- accuse of 
perjury, of murder, and treason ? What ! shall it be said that, 
like the eels in the story, we Catholics are so accustomed to be 
skinned alive that we do not feel it, but that the sensibility of 
every other sect deserves the highest protection — that of the 
Catholic people none ? Are, then, the Catholics, in the opinion 
of their friends, in such a state of moral degradation, that it is 
quite unimportant how they are treated ? Alas ! I much fear 
there are too many who think so ; and, miserable slaves that we 
are, our own dissensions encourage and justify the opinion. 

" But that opinion has a higher source still. The law — 
the barbarous and calumniating spirit of legislation — has con- 
secrated the contempt in which we are held. No Protestant 
can hold office in Ireland without being obliged to swear : 

" ' That the invocation of the saints, and the sacrifice of the 
Mass, as they are now used in the Church of Rome, are super- 
stitious and idolatrous ! ' 

" Take notice, it is not any abstract notion that may be 


formed of these practices, but the practices themselves, ' as they 
are actually used ,' are idolatrous. 

(t Thus our Protestant relatives, kinsmen, friends, are to 
swear solemnly, to attest to the Eternal Being, that we arc 
Idolaters ! Hence, then, with the partial and corrupt irrita- 
bility that seeks for causes of censure in the language of an 
unavowed individual Catholic, and forgets the paid, the salaried, 
the authorised, alas ! the sworn calumnies, the bigotry of our 

O'Connell's strongest arguments were simply 
wasted on men blinded by intolerance. 1 

Peel was then secretary for Ireland. He sent 
for Dr. Kenny, the president of the college, to in- 
terrogate him. Dr. Kenny was perfectly aware that 
Peel had no authority whatever for this proceeding, 
yet he went, lie proved more than a match for the 
English statesman, and at the close of the interview, 
he said to Mr. Peel, u I understand that you have a 
son?" Mr. Peel said he had. Dr. Kenny replied, 

1 When tho Duke of Leinstcr was examined before Parliament 
about his neighbours the Jesuits, he spoke of them most fairly, and 
said, not without some surprise, that he had found them able to 
bring up boys well. He said their answers were " wonderful." So 
far he was sufficiently above prejudice to be able to comprehend to 
a certain extent, and to witness fairly to a state of life which he had 
hitherto believed to be very different. But an amusing instance of 
Protestant ignorance followed : 

14 Is it not professedly an establishment for Jesuits?" he was 

" Yes, they are Jesuits," answered the duke, " for I met them 
in Italy." 

AVe have ourselves known many educated people who imagined 
any priest of ordinary intelligence must be a Jesuit. 


Security of the English Funds. 

" I can assure you with the veracity of one whose 
duty it is to be truthful, that if you send him to our 
college, we shall make him a sound scholar." Peel 
laughed heartily, but declined the favour. In the 
course of this important interview, Peel had more than 
suggested that the property of the Jesuits could and 
would be confiscated : 

" Mr. Peel," replied Dr. Kenny, with great calmness and 
good-humour, " it may be so : your Government may attempt, 
and have the power to effect such a violation of the rights of 
property, but in doing so they will also violate the maxim of 
Lord Chatham, whose statesmanship you profess to hold in 
reverence. As you may not recollect the circumstance at this 
moment, suffer me to recall it to you. It having been suggested 
to him to lay hold of the moneys lying in the English funds, in 
the names of natives of France, with whom war was then 
waging: 'No, no,' said he; 'if the devil had money in the 
English funds, it should be held safe for him ! ' " 

Either Mr. Peel thought that the Jesuits had as 
much right to fair play as the devil, or, what is more 
probable, he did not consider it expedient to interfere 
with them — for they were left in peace. Wisdom is 
not hereditary, but undoubtedly prejudice is — and 
were not the subject of such grave importance — it 
would be amusing to find the son following in the 
footsteps of the father at the present day. 1 

1 We refer to the following report of some observations made by 
the present baronet, as given in the Standard of July 24, 1872 : 

" Sir R. Peel — I wish to ask the Prime Minister a question 
springing out of that which has just been answered by the noble lord. 
It will be in the recollection of the house, that during the course of 
the present session many questions have been asked respecting the 

The Jesuits and Communists. 


With amusing servility to English opinion the 
X> w York Times followed suit, and on the 30th of 
July declared that : 

" The Jesuits and the International Society may now rank 
as the two bugbears of the Courts of Europe." 

There were Whalleys and Newdegates in the 
House in those days, and there probably will be 

influx of Communists into this country, and we understand that the 
Government have instructed Lord Lyons to use his best exertions to 
prevent this influx. No doubt the Communists are a very criminal 
class, but in many cases they are misguided, and the victims of cir- 
cumstances. The question I have to put refers to an equally dan- 
gerous and obnoxious class. I refer to the order of the Jesuits. 
My question has reference to recent acts of spiritual power exercised 
in Ireland." 

We hope the right hon. member for Tamworth will not be obliged 
to put his partiality for the Communists to a practical test. We 
should like to know very much the " circumstances " to which they 
have been victims. In default of all evidence we must believe that 
the Jesuits who have been expelled from Germany, without one single 
accusation being proved against them — the real victims. The allusion 
to the Galway trial is curious. Even Judge Keogh himself would be 
puzzled to make out any " Jesuit influence " in that affair. The 
next thing, we suppose, will be to indict the order for it. It is 
straDge how an English gentleman of ordinary education could be so 
hopelessly ignorant of cotemporary history. 

We find in the same number of the Standard the following civil 
remarks about eminent Catholics : 

" The Pope tells us that now he has nothing to look to but the 
divine assistance. Prayer is the instrument which he depends on 
his followers to employ. How delightful a prospect this seems to 
promise for sober, order-loving citizens ; if the Pope and Cardinal 
Anton elli, the Von Krements and Von Kettelers, the Cullens and 
M'Hales, could only devote themselves to prayer, we should be rid 
of the scandal of a number of men, clothed with the highest functions 


Increasing Popularity. 

until the advent of Macaulay's New Zealander. Mr. 
Peel tried to calm their perturbed spirits by giving , 
them some information concerning his interview with 
Dr. Kenny ; but he was neither sufficiently honour- 
able nor sufficiently large-minded to give full details. 

O'Connell's popularity was now rapidly approach- 
ing its highest point. At a meeting in Louth, 7th 
August 1813, a vote of thanks was proposed to him, 
James Kieran, Esq., being in the chair ; at Kilkenny 
the same compliment was paid to him, Captain Bryan 
in the chair ; at Tralee, Dominick Rice, Esq., pre- 
sided ; at Wexford, Harry Lambert, Esq. ; at Galway, 
Lord Ffrench ; at Cork, John Galway, Esq. At the 
latter place O'Connell was chaired home after a 
public meeting, and addressed the people " from the 
windows of Laffin's, the hatter." 

On the 14th January, 1815, the manufacturers of 
the Liberty of Dublin presented him with a silver 
cup, richly carved. 

Faction has been the curse of Ireland, and it 
might be expected that O'Connell's popularity would 
procure him many enemies. The class of men who 
now try to hunt down a Catholic justice of the peace, 
or custos rotulorum, by swearing informations, if he 
gives them even the excuse of an indiscretion of 

of religion, only opening their mouths to calumniate their neigh- 
bours, and picture their eternal damnation. Let them retire into 
their closets, and we should escape the pernicious influence which 
these men, by their influence over the ignorant masses, add to the 
other elements of disorganisation which now abound in the world." 

The Order of the Bay. 


language or action, were then ready and eager to 
shoot him down. It need not be said that duelling 
was the order of the day, and it was too often made 
an excuse for getting rid of a political opponent. 

Even in elections, an attorney was selected quite 
as often with a view to his skill with pistols as to his 
skill with his tongue. 1 

1 At an election for the County Wexford in 1810, when Messrs. 
Alcock and Colclongh were rival candidates, some tenants of a friend 
of Alcock declared their intention of voting for Colclongb. " Re- 
ceive their votes at your peril I" exclaimed Alcock. Colclough re- 
plied that he had not asked their votes, and that he certainly would 
not be bullied into rejecting them. Alcock thereupon challenged 
Colclough to fight ; they met on the next day ; the crowd who 
assembled on the ground included many magistrates; Colclough 
was shot through the heart — and Alcock, having thus got rid of his 
opponent, was duly returned for the count}\ He was tried at the 
next assizes for the murder of Colclough. Baron Smith publicly 
protested against finding him guilty, and the jury unanimously ac- 
quitted him. 

" King Bagenal" was one of the most noted duellists of the day. 
He earned his sobriquet of king, from the extent of property which 
he possessed, and over which he ruled in most despotic fashion. 

It is said that Bagenal accepted a challenge in his seventy-ninth 
year, only stipulating that he should fight sitting in his arm-chair ; 
and that, as his infirmities prevented early rising, the meeting should 
take place in the afternoon. " Time was," said the old man with 
a sigh, " that I would have risen before daybreak to fight at sun- 
rise — but we cannot do these things at seventy- eight. Well, 
Heaven's will be done !" 

They fought at twelve paces. Bagenal wounded his antagonist 
severely ; the aim of the chair in which he sat was shattered, but 
he escaped unhurt ; and he ended the day with a glorious carouse, 
tapping the claret, we may presume as usual, by firing a pistol at 
the cask. 

The traditions of Dunieckny allege that when Bagenal, in the 


King Bagenal. 

O'Conneirs duel witli D'Esterre was one of the 
most noted incidents in his eventful life ; but it was 
the fact of O'Connell's having fought the duel, and 
the consequences that ensued, which has made the 
event so famous, rather than any circumstances con- 
nected with its origin. 

The Catholic Board had been suppressed, and 
those members of the aristocracy who had sanctioned 
or supported it hitherto, were at least very willing 
to withdraw from a position which promised them no 
immediate advantage, and which compromised them 
in the opinions of the Protestant nobility. Their 
conduct was natural, if it was not national. They 
could not be expected to understand sufferings which 
they did not feel, nor to resent slights that were not 

course of his tour through Europe, visited the petty court of Meck- 
lenburgh-Strelitz, the Grand Duke, charmed with his magnificence 
and the reputation of his wealth, made him an offer of the hand of 
the fair Charlotte, who, being politely rejected by King Bagenal, was 
afterwards accepted by King George III. 

For all lovers of good horses, good dogs, and good wines, Dun- 
leckny was a terrestrial paradise. His stud was magnificent, and 
he had a large number of capital hunters at the service of visitors 
who were not provided with steeds of their own. He derived great 
delight from encouraging the young men who frequented his house 
to drink, hunt, and solve points of honour at twelve paces.* En- 
throned at Dunleckny, he gathered around him a host of spirits 
congenial to his own. He had a tender affection for pistols ; a brace 
of saw-handles were often laid before him on the dinner-table. 
After dinner, the claret was produced in an unbroached cask. 
Bagenal's practice was to tap the cask with a bullet from one of his 
own pistols, whilst he kept the other in terror em for any of th# 
convives who should fail in doing ample justice to the wine. 
* " Ireland and her Agitators/' p. G. 

Want of Moral Courage. 


offered to them. Their religion, indeed, taught them 
the duty of a deep, personal interest in the poor, and 
in all human suffering ; but there are not many who 
carry out practically to the fullest extent what they 
know in theory. They were, perhaps, unduly blamed 
by the leading agitators of the time ; at least, there 
was scarcely sufficient allowance made for the-ir 

Agitation, unless it is successful, is seldom con- 
sidered respectable. Those men who had found 
their way to court, and who were now received on 
friendly terms by their equals in rank, did not care to 
have the contempt of failure thrown on them, or to 
mix themselves up with what was considered dis- 
creditable by those whose opinions they valued most. 
It was enough for them to bear the brand of a reli- 
gion which they would not forsake, though they were 
fain to keep it out of sight. If to this stigma they 
added that of political discontent, and, above all, of 
any sympathy with their Irish fellow-subjects, if they 
were agitators, or their Catholic co-religionists if 
they were English, it would be an additional stigma 
which they did not feel disposed to bear. There are 
few things which men feel more than social discredit. 
Men who would die martyrs at the stake for their 
religion if they were compelled to choose between 
apostacy and God, would be guilty of pitiful moral 
cowardice when some sneer or taunt was flung at 
them for it, or at those who were more faithful to it 
than themselves, and who belonged to a race which 

VOL. II. 6 


D'Esterre and O'Connell 

the great ones of the world hold in undisguised 

In consequence of these difficulties O'Connell 
held a meeting in Capel Street in January, 1815. 
The proceedings were conducted without any for- 
mality, the gentlemen merely entering their names in 
a book which was opened for the purpose. At 
another meeting held during the same month, and at 
the same place, O'Connell used these words : 

"I am convinced that the Catholic cause has suffered by 
neglect of discussion. Had the petition been last year the 
subject of debate, we should not now see the beggarly Corpora- 
tion of Dublin anticipating our efforts by a petition of an opposite 
tendency. The Duke of Sussex in the Lords, and Mr. Whit- 
bred in the Commons, appear to me persons worthy to be en- 
trusted with our petition." 

Mr. D'Esterre belonged to the Guild of Merchants. 
He had been at sea in his early life, and did not 
bear a very high character. During the mutiny of 
the Nore, he was tried by the sailors, and sentenced 
to be hanged. At the last moment they offered him 
his life if he would join them. The rope was then 
round his neck. With coarse courage he exclaimed, 

"Hang away, and be d -d." They spared him, 

nevertheless ; he little thought, for what other death. 

The words used by O'Connell were scarcely 
sufficient even in those days for an affair of honour ; 
very much stronger language was used with impunity 
by public men to each other, and condoned by 
public opinion, but Mr. D'Esterre had "method in his 

D'Esterre and O'ConneU. 


rudeness." He hoped for place and pension, and he 
was sure of his reward, if he obliged the Government 
by getting rid of their most formidable opponent; 
probably, too, his petty vanity was gratified at the 
prospect of publicity, and as he was a first-rate shot, he 
had little apprehension as to the result. O'Connell 
was not a duellist ; he was eminently a man of peace. 
It has been the fashion with English writers to talk 
of him as a swaggering bravado — his conduct proved 
hi m precisely the reverse. He was then pre-eminently 
the peacemaker of the Catholic party in their early 
struggles, as he was pre-eminently the peacemaker in 
Ireland's most trying days. We are not about to 
justify O'Connell for fighting a duel, but if ever a 
duel could be justifiable, it was so in the circum-" 
stances in which he was placed. 

D'Esterre did his pitiful best to make O'Connell 
the aggresor. He paraded Dublin day after day with 
a horsewhip in his hand, and coarse language in his 
tongue ; but O'Connell was too prudent to be caught 
by the wily Orangeman. Every gentleman was ask- 
ing his friend significantly had " they " met yet? The 
streets were thronged; business was almost sus- 
pended ; the yelping cur was snapping at the heels 
of the lordly lion, but the lion kept his distance. 

The civic authorities were gratified, though they 
dared not openly applaud just yet. D'Esterre's 
friends hired the window of a house in Grafton 
Street, the fashionable and in some degree also the 
business resort of the day. They hoped to see 


D'Esterre and O'Connell. 

D'Esterre horsewhip O'Connell ; it does not seem to 
have occurred to them that there would be two actors 
in the performance — that, before the miserable ag- 
gressor could have lifted his whip, he would probably 
have found himself flung into the highway with one 
little effort of O'Connell's powerful arm. 

As D'Esterre could not provoke an assault, he 
was obliged to send a challenge. On the 26th 
February, 1815, he addressed O'Connell thus : 

"11 Bacheloes' Walk, 26th January, 1815. 
" Sir — Carrick's paper of the 23rd instant (in its report of 
the debates of a meeting of Catholic gentlemen, on the subject 
of a petition) states, that you have applied the appellation of 
beggarly to the corporation of this city, calling it a beggarly 
corporation — and therefore, as a member of that body, and 
feeling how painful such is, I beg leave to inquire whether you 
really used or expressed yourself in any such language ? I 
feel the more justified in calling on you on this occasion, as such 
language was not warranted or provoked by anything on the 
part of the corporation ; neither was it consistent with the sub- 
ject of your debate, or the deportment of the other Catholic 
gentlemen who were present ; and though I view it so incon- 
sistent in every respect, I am in hopes the editor is under error, 
and not you. I have further to request your reply in the course 
of the evening, and remain, sir, your obedient servant, 


" To Counsellor O'Connell, Merrion Square." 

Mr. O'Connell's answer was as follows : 

" Merrion Square, 21th January, 1815. 
" Sir — In reply to your letter of yesterday, and without 
either admitting or disclaiming the expression respecting the 

D'Esterre and 0' Council. 


Corporation of Dublin in the print to which you allude, I deem 
it right to inform you that, from the calumnious manner in 
which the religion and character of the Catholics of Ireland are 
treated in that body, no terms attributed to me, however re- 
proachful, can exceed the contemptuous feelings I entertain for 
that body in its corporate capacity ; although doubtless it con- 
tains many valuable persons, whose conduct as individuals (I 
lament) must necessarily be confounded in the acts of a general 
body. I have only to add that tltis letter must close our cor- 
respondence on this subject. — I am, &c. &c., 

u Daniel O'Connell. 
" To J. N. D'Esterre, Esq., 11 Bachelors' Walk." 

For some reason, by no means apparent, D'Esterre 
wished to continue the correspondence. He sent 
another letter to O'Connell, but though the hand- 
writing was disguised, the author was suspected and 
it was returned unread, by Mr. James O'Connell. 

" On Sunday, Mr. D'Esterre sent a note to Mr. James 
O'Connell, containing ' disrespectful observations ' on himself 
and his brother, and he sent his friend Captain O'Mullane to 
Mr. D'Esterre to say, that after he adjusted his affair with his 
brother, he would briug him to account for his conduct to him- 
self peculiarly. 

" Captain O'Mullane at the same time intimated, that 
Counsellor O'Connell was astonished at his not healing in what 
he conceived the proper way from Mr. D'Esterre. 

" Nothing further happened on Sunday, and on Monday 
morning, Mr. Lidwell, who remained here several days to be 
the friend of Mr. O'Connell, though some members of his 
family were seriously indisposed, left town for home, despairing 
of any issue being put to the controversy. 

" Monday passed on, and on Tuesday considerable sensa- 
tion was created by a rumour, that Mr. D'Esterre was advised 

440 Judge Day and Barney Code. 

to go to the Four Courts, to offer Mr. O'Connell personal 
violence. Neither of the parties came in contact, but it seems 
that Mr. D'Esterre was met on one of the quays by Mr. Richard 
0' Gorman, who remonstrated with him by stating, that he 
conceived he was pursuing a very unusual sort of conduct. 
• You conceive,' said he, * that you received an offence from 
Mr. O'Connell ; if so, your course is to demand satisfaction. 
This, I understand, you have not as yet done, but if you are 
now resolved to do it, I undertake, on forfeiture of having a 
riddle made of my body, to have Mr. O'Connell on his ground 
in half an hour.' This occurred about three o'clock, but no 
challenge followed." 1 

The excitement increased every moment. O'Con- 
nell paraded the streets at four o'clock with a few 
friends, but such crowds surrounded him that he was 
obliged to retire into a private house. 

Judge Day now came to place him under arrest ; 
at the same time, he said he would be satisfied if Mr. 
O'Connell would pledge his honour to proceed no 
further in the business, which, considering that 
O'Connell was not the aggressor, was extremely 

O'Connell said what was true, that he was not the 
aggressor, and did not intend to be the aggressor. 
One of O'Connell's friends who was present, the 
famous Barney Coile, said : 

" ' That it was very insulting that a ruffian should be al- 
lowed to parade the streets of Dublin during two days, in order 
to assault a worthy man who is the father of six children — 
and this without any hindrance or interruption from the magis- 

1 Dublin Evening Post. Full reports of each day's proceedings 
was given in this paper. 

A Meeting Arranged. 

" *I hope, sir, you are satisfied,' said Judge Day, 'that the 
laws are competent to reach all such offenders.' 

" ' By my soul,' replied Barney Coile, ' I am very well satis- 
fied the laws can reach us if we transgress ; hut during the two 
days he has heen seeking to effect a breach of the peace, the 
laws have not reached that fellow." 

At nine o'clock on Wednesday evening, Sir E. 
Stanley waited on O'Connell at his house in Mer- 
rion Square, and a hostile meeting was arranged — 
O'Connell having secured the services of Major 
MacXamara. The place selected was Lord Pon- 
sonby's demesne, about thirteen miles from Dublin, 
the time three o'clock in the afternoon. 

O'Connell was on the spot punctually, attended 
by his brother James, and some other friends. He 
was as cool and collected as if he were about to 
address a jury, instead of entering on a deadly con- 
flict. As his carriage passed over a broken-down 
bridge, he turned to his brother James and said, 
" See, James, how little care they take of the lives of 
his Majesty's subjects." 

D'Esterre was later on the ground, which was 
white with snow. The seconds took some time 
making arrangements, and Sir Edward Stanley was 
in considerable perturbation as to the result if 
O'Connell should fall, a consummation of which we 
may presume he had not the slightest doubt. Major 
MacXamara occupied himself giving O'Connell a 
number of directions. The Liberator could stand it 
no longer. " My dear fellow, I have one earnest request 
to make you," he said, addressing his second with 

Last Act of the Tragedy. 

that impressive solemnity which no man could better 
assume. The major listened for his friend's last 
words with evident anxiety. " Let me beg of you"— 
he paused — " let me beg of you," he reiterated, " not 
to say another word to me until the duel is over." 

O'Connell's keen eye took in all around. He saw 
his tailor, Jerry MacCarthy, on the ground, and ex- 
claimed, " Well, J erry ; I never missed you at an 
aggregate meeting.' 7 

The Dublin Evening Post of the day thus describes 
the last act of the tragedy : 

" The friends of both parties retired, and the combatants, 
haying a pistol in each hand, with directions to discharge them 
at their discretion, prepared to tire. They levelled, and before 
the lapse of a second both shots were heard. Mr. D'Esterre 
tired first, and missed. Mr. O'Connell's shot followed instan- 
taneously, and took effect in the groin of his antagonist, about 
an inch below the hip. Mr. D'Esterre, of course, fell, and 
both the surgeons hastened to him. They found that the ball 
had traversed the hip, passed through the bladder, and possibly 
touched the spine. It could not be found. There was an im- 
mense effusion of blood. All parties prepared to move towards 
aome, and arrived in town before eight o'clock. "We were ex- 
tremely glad to perceive that Major MacNamara and many 
respectable gentlemen assisted in procuring the best accommo- 
dation for the wounded man. They sympathised in his suffer- 
ings, and expressed themselves to Sir Edward Stanley as ex- 
tremely well pleased that a transaction which they considered 
most uncalled for, had not terminated in the death of D'Esterre. 
We need not describe the emotions which burst forth along the 
road and through the town when it was ascertained that Mr. 
O'Connell was safe." 

A body of cavalry was despatched to the scene of 

" God be Praised, Ireland is safe!" 


conflict, but, either by accident or design, they 
arrived too late for active interference. It was 
generally believed at the time that they were sent for 
the purpose of protecting Mr. D'Esterre in case he 
should have shot O'Connell. They met O'Conneli's 
carriage returning, but did not recognise the occu- 
pants, and inquired if Mr. O'Connell had been shot. 
Mr. James O'Connell replied, "No; Mr. D'Esterre 
has unfortunately fallen." 

D'Esterre only lived a few days ; and to his 
latest breath O'Connell never forgave himself for the 
fatality. He pensioned the widow and daughter, 
and on one occasion conducted a case for Mrs. 
D'Esterre in the law courts, at serious loss and in- 
convenience to himself. In after life, also, it was 
observed that he never passed the house once 
occupied by that gentleman, without raising his hat, 
and breathing a prayer for his eternal welfare. 

O'Connell was at first apprehensive of legal pro- 
ceedings, but he received an early and polite assu- 
rance from Sir Edward Stanley that no such thing 
was contemplated. When the intelligence was 
brought to Archbishop Murray by Mr. James 
O'Connell, he exclaimed, " God be praised ; Ireland 
is safe." Yet, much as Ireland would have mourned 
O'Conneli's death even then, how little could even 
the most prescient have anticipated what he would 
yet do for her. 1 

1 As the party travelled back to Dublin they were all silent 
nntil near the city, when O'Connell said, "I fear he must be dead, 


Agrarian Outrages. 

In the year 1816 some agrarian outrages oc- 
curred, for which, of course, blame was laid on every- 
one except those who were really guilty. The 
people, already crushed down to the lowest depths 
of poverty, were compelled to pay tithes, not, indeed, 
of what they had, but of what they had not. 

The unhappy peasantry were denounced, guilty 
or not guilty, and, of course, " the priests' 7 were to 
blame. The " No-Popery' 7 cry was always service- 
able, and it was easily echoed. A Dublin Govern- 
ment paper had the following paragraph, which 
O'Connell quoted at a public meeting : 

"I will lay before the reader such specimens of the popish 
superstition as will convince him that the treasonable com- 
binations cemented by oaths, and the nocturnal robbery and 
assassination which have prevailed for many years past in 
Ireland and still exist in many parts of it, are produced as a 
necessary consequence by its intolerant and sanguinary prin- 

It was necessary to have something like a fact, 
to prove the assertion, and the fact was forthcoming 
in due time. 

The Eev. John Hamilton, an Orangeman, and a 
magistrate, was Protestant curate of Eoscrea. The 

he fell so suddenly ; where do you think he was hit ? The doctor 
replied, "In the head." "That cannot he," replied O'Connell; 
"I aimed low; it must have entered near the thigh." Mrs. 
D'Esterre went to England with her daughter, and married a brother 
of Mr. Guinness', the celebrated brewer, and founder of the fortunes 
of the Guinness family. Miss D'Esterre, who was an accomplished 
musician, married a son of her step-father, by his first wife. 

Ham Stan and A is A ccofnpUces. 

Monaghan Militia, all Orangemen, were quartered 
there, and he devoted himself to superintending them 
as they scoured the country, playing party tunes and 
doing their best to exasperate the people. But the 
people would not be exasperated ; and then a scheme 
of so diabolical a character was planned, that if there 
were not the evidence of a court of law to prove the 
facts, we might pardon any reader, Catholic or Pro- 
testant, for discrediting the whole narrative. 

Mr. Hamilton deliberately set himself to get up a 
plot. He obtained the services of a villian named 
Dyer, who was only less contemptible than himself, 
because he only carried out what his master planned. 
First, he swore that the Catholics had made a plot to 
murder all the Protestants, and that they held secret 
meetings for this purpose. A lie or two, more or 
less, did not matter, so he swore to time and place. 
These " startling disclosures" excited much alarm, 
but this was not sufficient. Dyer, or rather Mr. 
Hamilton, wanted a victim. He had his eye on one, 
a respectable Catholic distiller ; so he next proceeded 
to get a regular spy from Dublin. It was not difficult, 
for the Rebellion had provided a crop of infamous 
characters who lived on falsehood. 

The three worthies then arranged their plan. 
Evidently it was not the first plot of the kind which 
the " detective" had carried out. A straw figure was 
attired in a suit of Mr. Hamilton's clothes, and placed 
sitting at the table on the ground-floor. The back 
was turned to the window ; the figure faced the table, 


The Villainous Plot Detected. 

on which lay an open Bible. Two candles were 
lighted, for as the deed required darkness outside, it 
was done at night. Dyer and Halpin, the spy, fired 
at the figure through the window. The commotion 
was terrible ; it was soon known through the town 
that the rev. magistrate had been shot at while read- 
ing the Sacred Scriptures, and that he had made a 
most miraculous escape. 

As Mr. Hamilton was a magistrate, he could act 
as he pleased, and he at once called out the militia, 
and had the Egans arrested. They were bailed out 
next morning with great difficulty ; but on the 11th 
July, 1816, he arrested them again, and actually suc- 
ceeded in having them brought to trial. A special 
commission was held in Clonmel. Lord Norbury 
and Baron George presided. Charles Kendal Bushe, 
the Solicitor-General, was crown prosecutor. 

Dyer told his story admirably, and gave detailed 
evidence of the midnight meetings, the military ex- 
ercises, and all the incidents necessary to complete 
the accusation. Some glimpses of light, however, 
were obtained in cross-examination. It was proved 
that Dyer was in receipt of five shillings a week for 
suppressing evidence against Francis Cotton, who 
was tried for murder. The Eev. John Hamilton 
was the next witness. He had employed too many 
to help him in his villainous plot, and something of 
the truth was ascertained. On cross-examination lie 
was obliged to admit the truth. He tried to excuse 
himself by adding subterfuge to falsehood, but it was 

Peel and OConnell. 


useless. No attempt was made to punish him ; but 
Dyer was indicted for wilful and corrupt perjury. 
The grand jury, however, ignored the bill, and Dyer 
went forth on the world to plot new schemes for the 
destruction of innocent men. 

We do not hear, however, in those times, evil as 
they were, that the most holy rites of religion were 
profaned for such purposes ; that method of treachery 
was reserved for our own time. 

In 1815, O'Connell was engaged in another 
u affair of honour," the circumstances of which were 
" singularly complicated," according to the public re- 
ports of the proceedings. 

O'Connell " dared " Mr. Peel to attack him in his 
presence, as he had attacked him behind his back. 
Sir Charles Saxton thereupon waited on O'Connell 
for his friend, Mr. Peel. After a war of words, both 
colloquially and on paper, in which both parties 
seemed willing to avoid a hostile meeting, the hostile 
meeting was arranged by " friends," who were then 
unnecessarily obliging on such occasions. 

Sir Charles Saxton and Mr. Lidwell, O'Connell's 
friends, contrived to get into a cross quarrel on their 
own account. In the meantime, the families of 
O'Connell and Lidwell became greatly alarmed. 
Mrs. O'Connell gave information to the sheriff 
privately, and had her husband arrested. Miss 
Lidwell protected her father in the same way. 

The following squib on the subject was attributed 
to C. J. Burke, Esq. : 


Peel and 0' Council. 

" Our heroes of Erin escape from the slaughter, 
By reversing the Hebrew command, 
One honours his wife, and the other his daughter, 
That their days may be long in the land." 

Meanwhile Sir Charles Sax ton and Mr. Peel had 
left the country. O'Connell was bound to keep the 
peace, under a penalty of £10,000. O'Connell, how- 
ever, procured another friend, Mr. Bennet, and they 
arranged to have a meeting at Ostend. Peel was 
mortally afraid of the result. It was known now 
that O'Connell was one of the best shots in Ireland, 
and the fate of D'Esterre was already fresh in the 
public mind. 

O'Connell reached London safely, but every 
effort was being made to capture him. A Mr. Lid- 
will, who was singularly like him, was seized. This 
gentleman was a provision merchant, and occupied 
the house which had belonged to D'Esterre. In 
Calais, another unfortunate gentleman was seized 

Mr. Peel's father, however, had sharpened the 
wits of the London police by an offer of fifty guineas 
each to those who would succeed in capturing 
O'Connell ; and on the morning of the 19th Sep- 
tember they broke into the hotel in the Strand at 
four o'clock, and captured him as he was preparing 
to start for Dover. O'Connell was again bound over 
to keep the peace, and returned at once to Ireland. 

Mr. Lidwell and Sir Charles Saxton had a meet- 
ing at Calais, where Mr. Lidwell, who had been the 

PeeVs Remedy for Ireland. 


challenger, received Sir Charles Saxton's fire, and 
then discharged his own pistol in the air. 

In 1819, O'Connell wrote his first public letter to 
the people of Ireland. During the preceding year, 
the country had been in a fearful state of distress and 
excitement. When the war ceased, the high prices 
obtained for provisions fell at once, but the Irish 
landlords still insisted on obtaining the high rents. 
The result was necessarily disturbance ; but Mr. Peel 
projected and perfected a plan by which the cries of 
the people might be stifled, no matter how great the 
cause which drew them forth. " In Ireland," said 
Mr. Peel, when he proposed his measure to the Eng- 
lish house, "in Ireland, they do not possess the 
greatest of all blessings — a resident gentry having a 
community of interest with the cultivators of the 
soil. ,, So, as they had not this blessing, he deter- 
mined to give one of his own fashioning, and he 
sent them 25,000 armed constables. In consequence 
of this singular method of supplying an acknowledged 
want, and in memory of the originator of the scheme, 
these men obtained the sobriquet of u Peelers." 

There was a trial about the same period in Eng- 
land, at which eminent counsel were engaged on both 
sides. Discontent was general in that country also, 
though there was infinitely less cause for it than in 
Ireland. A Dr. Watson excited a riot for which he 
was tried. The Attorney-General and the Solicitor- 
General were counsel for the Crown ; the latter, Sir 
Robert Gifford, was held in very high esteem by the 


Justice in England. 

legal gentlemen of the period. Watson was de- 
fended by Sir Charles Wetherell, an ultra Tory, but 
he had been disappointed by the Government, and, 
for the nonce, was prepared to defend his client con 
amove, and with an energy beyond what mere pro- 
fessional duty required. He was assisted by Mr. 
Sergeant Copley, better known as Lord Lyndhurst. 

A spy had been employed in the case, but it was 
proved at the trial that he was a man of infamous 
character, as such men always are. Sir Charles 
Wetherell, asked the jury : 

"Will, you suffer the purity of British jurisprudence to 
depend upon the credit of that indescribable villain? Will 
you add to the bloody memory he has already earned ? Will 
you encourage the trade and merchandise of a man who lives 
on blood ? Will you — the guardians and protectors of British 
law — will you suffer death to be dealt out by him as he 
pleases ?" 

The jury gave evidence of their opinion by ac- 
quitting the man whose life had been so cruelly 
sworn away. It was only in Ireland that men like 
Mr. Hamilton, who were at once perjurers and spies, 
were allowed to " deal out death " as they pleased, 
and where villains like Dyer and his companions 
were acquitted by Orange juries. 

(Lbaptcr (Tcntk 


Panegyric on Grattan : Outrage at Kilmainham : 
Harcourt Lees : "Pastoral Letter" for 1821: 
First Appearance of Shiel : Mr. Plunket: 
Analysis of Mr. PlunkeVs Bills: Spiritual 
Functions and Freedom of the Clergy : Pro- 
testant Bigotry : George IV. and Queen Caro- 
line: Royal Visit to Ireland: Loyal Reception 
at Dublin: The Irish People: Presentation of 
O'Connell at Court: Irony of Lord Byron: 
Wellesley and his Irish Policy: Orange Orgies: 
The Beefsteak Club interfered with, and its 
Revenge: Wellesley and the Orangemen: A 
Catholic Triumph. 



Wp RATTAN died in 1820, 
XX and O'Connell took the 
opportunity of a public 
meeting for promoting the 
election of his son, as mem- 
ber for Dublin, to pronounce a magni- 
ficent panegyric on his virtue and 
devotion to Ireland. He quoted on 
this occasion Grattan's own memorable 
expression, u He watched by the cradle of 
his country's greatness, and he followed 
jjOj her hearse and then reverting to his fa- 
vourite subject, the assistance given by Pro- 
testants, be added, " Who shall now speak to me of 
religious animosity ? To any such I will answer, by 
pointing to the honoured tomb of Grattan — and I will 


Meeting at Kilmainliam. 

say, There sleeps a man, a member of the Protestant 
community, who died in the cause of his Catholic 
fellow-countrymen ! " 

In the conclusion of his speech, he adverted to 
the effort to excite dissension which was made by 
some of the opposite candidate's party, who boasted 
of wearing Orange favours, and asked, Who was the 
most loyal man, the one who would unite the people 
round the throne in peace and harmony, or the one 
who would weaken the resources of the constitution 
by excluding their fellow-subjects from its advan- 
tages ? He concluded by begging the people to do 
their duty, and to let their motto be, " Grattan and 

George IV. had succeeded to the throne in this 
year, and was actively employed in the prosecution 
of his unhappy Queen. His accession was made the 
occasion for a " loyal address'' from the Government 
party in Ireland, and a public assembly was convened 
for the purpose of adopting it. The Court-house at 
Kilmainliam, near Dublin, was selected as the place 
of meeting, and a guard of fifty policemen was sta- 
tioned at the door. As Lord Howth and the other 
promoters of the proceedings approached the spot, 
they were more alarmed than gratified to see crowds 
hastening along the roads — but even then they were 
not prepared for what followed. The moment the 
doors were opened the people crushed in, bearing 
all before them like a raging sea ; the police were 
too few for resistance ; and in the end, Lord Howth, 

The Military called in. 


Lord Frankford, the Sheriff, the county members, 
and Judge Day, Were lifted in through the open 
windows on chairs by the police. 

This proceeding did not tend to quiet the assem- 
bly, and the speeches could not be heard for shouts, 
and groans, and cat-calls, and hurricanes of ironical 

O'Connell and his friends had placed themselves 
in the centre of the hall. He rose up in his giant 
strength, both physical and moral, and declared his 
dissent. The Sheriff asked, was he a freeholder ? 
He replied : 

"I am a freeholder of this county. I have a hereditary 
property which, probably, may stand a comparison with the 
person's who interrogates me ; and I have a profession which 
gives me an annual income greater than any of the personages 
who surround the chair are able to wring from the taxes." 

A fierce dispute followed ; the aristocratic party 
contrived to nominate their own chairman. Lord 
Cloncurry now joined the people, for reasons of his 
own, and he was nominated by them. In the height 
of the dispute the Sheriff contrived to slip out of the 
court-house and to call in the military, whom he had 
stationed outside without the knowledge of the 
people. Their indignation, when they found them- 
selves treated in this fashion, may well be imagined. 
It was, indeed, a sharp, practical commentary on the 
" liberty of the subject" in Ireland. The subject ab- 
horred the conduct of the king, and was only desi- 
rous of expressing his abhorrence if he were obliged 


Not Easily Baffled. 

to speak at all. The rulers of the subject were de- 
termined to send up a congratulatory address in the 
name of the subject, and were naturally very indig- 
nant that he should dare to thwart their plans. 

The court was soon cleared. Lord Cloncurry 
remained on the bench where the people had placed 
him. The soldiers, obeying orders, drew their swords 
at him, and pressing forward, forced him from his 
place. Lord Cloncurry having determined that he 
would yeild only to compulsion. 

But O'Connell was not so easily baffled. It was, 
indeed, illegal to hold an open-air meeting, but there 
was a tavern opposite the court-house. O'Connell 
placed the chairman under cover, and the meeting 
proceeded. Mr. Burne, a king's counsel, took a pro- 
minent part in the affair on the popular side. He 
now addressed the multitude, and proposed an 
address. But he looked for it in vain. He plunged 
his hands into one pocket and then into another ; he 
looked hither and thither. His address was gone, 
lost in the fray, or dexterously filched from him. 
O'Connell asked what he was looking for. " The 
address," he stated. " What has become of the 
address?" "Oh! here it is," replied O'Connell, 
quietly putting a paper in his hands which he had, 
and which was adopted, and which was written by 
O'Connell himself. There were some strong expres- 
sions in it which had not been in Burne's copy ; for 
instance, the prosecution of the Queen was de- 
nounced as " unconstitutional and dangerous." 

Sir Har court Lees. 


History does not say if O'Connell had anything 
to do with the abstraction of the original address, so 
we may leave him the benefit of the doubt. On the 
2nd of July 1821, O'Connell held another meeting, 
11 to consider the best steps to be taken as to the 
outrage on Saturday, at Kilniainham." 

The Protestant and aristocratic party convened 
another assembly of their own. An eccentric Pro- 
testant clergyman, Sir Harcourt Lees, wrote a letter 
to the public papers, in which he said : 

u I have just returned from one of the most numerous and 
respectable meetings of Protestant noblemen and gentlemen of 
the county of Dublin ever assembled together, for the purpose 
of assuring a deeply-injured sovereign of their inviolable attach- 
ment to his august person and the constitution of the British 

But Sir Harcourt was not at the meeting. His 
appearance was remarkable, and he had been ac- 
tually seen by a considerable number of persons in a 
different place. He took the accusation of falsehood 
very coolly, and only advised his censor u to pur- 
chase a telescope, and watch his movements with 
more attention in future." 

O'Connell's " pastoral" letter for the year of grace 
1821, excited an immense commotion. Mr. Shielwas 
just then making his appearance in public life, and 
either from personal vanity, or a desire to break a 
lance with a man so famous as the Liberator, he ven- 
tured the dangerous experiment of attacking him. 
The result was not encouraging for a second attempt. 


Letter to the Irish Catholics. 

Few men have been possessed of O'Connell's power 
of dissecting an adversary, and then holding up to 
public ridicule on his scalpel, the choicest morsels of 
his opponent's slaughtered eloquence. 
O'Connell's letter commenced thus : 
" To the Catholics of Ireland. 

"Merbion Square, Dublin, 1st January, 1821. 

" Fellow- Countrymen— After another year of unjust de- 
gradation and oppression, I again address you. We have 
lived another year, the victims of causeless injustice. Our 
lives wear away, and we still continue aliens in our native 
land. Everything changes around us. Our servitude alone is 
unaltered and permanent. 

" The blood runs cold, and the heart withers, when we re- 
flect on the wanton prolongation of our sufferings. The iron 
sinks into our very souls at the helpless and hopeless nature of 
our lot. To the severest of injuries is added the most cruel of 
insults, and we are deprived of the miserable consolation of 
thinking that our enemies deem themselves justified by any 
necessity or any excuse for continuing our degradation. 

" No, my fellow-countrymen, no; there is no excuse for the 
injustice that is done us. There is no palliation for tbe ini- 
quitous system under which we suffer. It contradicts the first 
right of men and Christians — the right of worshipping our God 
according to the dictates of our conscience. Nay, this odious 
system goes farther; it converts the exercise of that right into 
a crime, and it inflicts punishment for that which is our first 
and most sacred duty — to worship our Creator in the sincerity 
of conscience. 

"For this crime, and for this crime alone, we are punished 
and degraded — converted into an inferior class in our native 
land, and doomed to perpetual exclusion. Our enemies cannot 
accuse us of any other offence — other crime we have committed 

0' Conn ell's Object. 


none. Even the foolish charge of intemperance — a charge 
which was only a symptom of that contempt in which our 
enemies hold us — even the absurd accusation of intemperance 
is now abandoned, and our degradation continues without 
necessity, without excuse, without pretence, without palliation." 

He then showed them how some " honest men " 
might be deluded into the belief that the profession 
of the Catholic religion was inconsistent with civil or 
religious liberty. He showed from the history of the 
past and the annals of the present, how utterly un- 
founded this theory was. He stated that France had 
a Protestant prime minister, who, if he were in Eng- 
land, could not fill the office of a parish constable 
without swearing — that the Mass was impious and he 
who heard it, an idolater. 

O'Connell's object was simply to keep his country- 
men from sinking into the apathy of indifference or 
despair, an apathy which would have been hopelessly- 
fatal to a people who had not yet obtained more than 
a modicum of freedom. His reply to Shiel must 
have produced laughter even while it reiterated the 
arguments of the letter which that gentleman had so 
unwisely attacked. " Truly, I am at a loss," replied 
O'Connell, " to know how I could have provoked the 
tragic wrath and noble ire of this iambic rhapsodise" 

However O'Connell may have been at a loss on 
this subject, he certainly was never at a loss for a 
stinging epithet, and Mr. Shiel's rhapsody had de- 
served one. 1 He called O'Connell - a fl a mi ng fra^- 

o o 

1 Shiel's famous speech in reply to Lord Lyndhurst's statement 


Mr. Plunket. 

merit," " lava," " a straw in ambre," " a rushlight 
with a fitful fire," " a sophist drowning in confuta- 
tion," " a column of fiery vapour and heterogeneous 
materials." Mr. Shields appellations were certainly 
** heterogeneous," and it is difficult to understand how 
a man who has left so much eloquence on record, 
could have written such rubbish. O'Connell's shrewd 
conjecture that " he was not half so mad as he pre- 
tended to be," is probably the key to the enigma. 

The whole controversy arose out of O'Connell's 
objection to Mr. Plunket's policy. After Grattan's 
death, and indeed for some time previous, Mr. Plun- 
ket was looked upon as the leader of the Liberal 
party in the House of Commons, or rather of such 
members of the Liberal party as were disposed to 
grant any measure of relief to Ireland. Mr. Plunket 
was, on the whole, a disinterested patriot, but he 
could not understand the position or the necessities 
of those he desired to benefit, as O'Connell did. He 
was anxious to obtain some measures of relief for 
Irish Catholics, or, to speak more correctly, for the 
Irish nation, for the nation was Catholic ; but he 
could not understand, and probably no Protestant 
could understand, that the Irish nation would accept 
no temporal relief, however desirable, however neces- 
sary, at the expense of their spiritual interests. Mat- 
ters, which to him were trifles, or at best mere ques- 
tions of opinion, were to them of vital importance. 

that "the Irish were aliens in blood, in birth, and in religion," was 
one of those chosen for recitation at Harrow on the last speech day. 

The Catholic and His Religion. 461 

He forgot, or he could not be made to understand, 
that every detail of their religion was all important, 
because with them religion was not a matter of 
opinion, but an object of faith. 

They believed that the Pope was the divinely- 
appointed Vicar of Christ upon earth, that to his 
authority they were obliged to submit in all things 
spiritual ; not because he happened to be good or 
wise, gifted or powerful, but because of an immutable 
decree which they read in Holy Writ, " Thou art 
Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church." 
For every article of their faith they had been perse- 
cuted to death for years ; they were still persecuted, 
not, indeed, to death, but in every position and action 
of life. It was natural, then, they should look with 
no little suspicion on any concession, however desi- 
rable, to which conditions were attached, which, if 
they did not actually compromise articles of faith, 
had at least the appearance of doing so. 

But there were few men who grasped the bear- 
ings of the whole subject with O'Connelfs precision. 
He saw the insidious nature of the concession, which 
required that the appointment of Catholic prelates 
should be placed in Protestant hands, and he set 
himself to oppose it with a vigour which was 
strengthened and inspired by his perfect know- 
ledge of the danger. 

O'Connell's letters on this subject are not less 
remarkable for legal acumen than for theological 
learning. He knew his religion with that intelligent 


Relief, but no Repeal 

knowledge which is at once the support and the 
source of faith. It has been, indeed, objected to 
him that he was too fond of theological discussions, 
but the objection was rarely made save by those who 
were unable to meet his argument* 3 . 

These letters of O'Conn ell's were written on cir- 
cuit, and forwarded to the Evening Herald in small 
portions as they were written. 

In his first letter he says : u Mr. Plunket's two 
bills are at length before you." He then proceeds to 
analyse the bills with a master hand. The first Act, 
he said, was certainly a relief bill ; " if it stood alone 
it would be received with delight by every rational 
Catholic.' 7 Yet he showed that the Act was liable 
to misconstruction, and hence to failure. It did not 
repeal the penal laws, although it was proposed with 
a view to destroying the effects of these statutes. 
The simpler method undoubtedly would have been 
to repeal them, but parliamentary legislation is seldom 
characterised by simplicity. Besides, there would 
have been infinite difficulty in effecting such a mea- 
sure. The "moral consciousness" of that class of 
men who erect themselves into personal sources 
of infallibility in religious belief would have been 
shocked. The bigots of the day were numerous 
and powerful. They complained, indeed, bitterly of 
the arrogant claims of the Papacy. But they were 
hopelessly ignorant ; for there is no ignorance so 
hopeless as that which has its source in prejudice. 
Their own infallibility was to them so certain, that it 

Protest' in t In/all ib il it y. 


was, indeed, the only part of their creed in which 
they believed as of Divine right. Yet if you asked 
these men to tell you the grounds on which they 
asserted their infallibility, they could not do so. If 
you asked them why, in the name of common sense, 
they would not permit the right of private judgment 
to their Catholic fellow-creatures, why they would 
not allow them the same liberty of belief which they 
took care to secure for themselves — they could give 
no rational answer. 

To say that Popery was false because they thought 
it false, was no argument. Where or from whom did 
they get the right to decide so momentous a position ? 
and where and from whom did they get the right to 
subject a fellow-creature to any persecution — social, 
moral, or physical, because he did not believe in their 
opinions ? 

It would seem, indeed, as if persecution were the 
only proof they had to offer of the truth of their 
doctrine, and the very power to persecute supported 
them in their self-righteous delusion. 

But if Mr. Plunket's first Act promised relief, his 
second Act was such as to prevent any Catholic from 
accepting it. 

O'Connell analysed it thus : 

" Before I proceed to speak of this second Act in the terms 
it merits, I will give a brief and accurate statement of its 
contents ; and I begin with the title. It is called an Act 1 To 
regulate the intercourse between persons in holy orders pro- 
fessing the Roman Catholic religion with the see of Rome.* 

" Suppressio veri, Suggestio falsi" 

This title is broken English and had grammar. But it is 
infinitely worse. It has all the characteristics of complete 
falsehood — the 'suppressio veri,' the 'suggestio falsi.' Truth 
is suppressed, because the principal object of the bill does not 
relate to such intercourse at all ; but is to give to the secretary 
of the Lord Lieutenant the absolute appointment of all the 
bishops and all the deans of the Catholic Church in Ireland. 
Falsehood is suggested — because this is not a bill to regulate 
the intercourse (for regulate means ' to order by rule '), but it 
is a bill to control, according to caprice, that intercourse, and 
to control it according to the caprice of a Protestant Secretary 
of State. It is in this respect a bill to suppress the necessary 
intercourse upon matters of faith and discipline between that 
part of the Catholic or universal Church of Christ which is in 
Ireland, and the Pope or visible head upon earth of that 

It was no matter of surprise that O'Connell 
should write strongly upon this subject, for, from the 
time of Patrick, when Ireland had been converted by 
him to the Faith, intercourse with, the Holy See had 
been kept up with unvarying affection. If the inter- 
course of discipline had ceased, the intercourse of 
communion would have ceased, and Ireland would 
have been no longer Catholic. To effect this was 
undoubtedly the object of many of the promoters of 
the bill. 

But the oath which was required from the Catho- 
lic clergy in connexion with this bill was not its least 
objectionable feature. The language used was ambi- 
guous ; but O'Connell showed that whatever might 
be said of Catholics by their enemies, they at least 

The Oath of a Catholic. 


must keep an oath sacredly. There could be no 
mental reservations, no evasions, no non-natural inter- 
pretation ; the oath must be taken in the sense in 
which the framers intended it to be taken. No Ca- 
tholic could take an oath as many Protestants signed 
the thirty-nine articles of their Church ; and if a 
Catholic were guilty of such evasion, the Protestant 
who practised it himself would be the very first to 
denounce him for it. 

In his third letter, O'Connell shows that if this 
bill passed, the Catholic clergy would be actually 
obliged to derive their faculties from the Govern- 
ment. He does not use the word, probably because 
he knew that it would not be understood in its tech- 
nical sense by those whom he addressed, but his 
argument goes to show this. 

The sixteenth section of the Act required : 

"That every person who shall hereafter be noyni- 
nated to the office of bishop or dean, in the Catholic 
Church in Ireland, shall, before, his consecration or acting 
as such, give notice to the Secretary of the Lord-Lieutenant, 
and that he shall not be consecrated, or exercise any functions 
of bishop or dean if the Secretary of the Lord-Lieutenant, 


The eighteenth section made it an indictable 
offence to exercise any part of the functions of a 
dean or bishop, without having on his nomination 
signified the same to the Castle, or after he has been 
disapproved of by the Secretary. 


Episcopal Rights Threatened. 

Many members of the Protestant Established 
Church complained even then of their bondage to 
the State, but it was a trifle to the bondage which 
the State sought to exercise towards the Catholics. 

According to the divinely-appointed discipline of 
the Catholic Church, no man can exercise the sub- 
lime functions of his office, even after his ordination, 
without receiving an express permission to do so 
from the bishop of the diocese in which he wishes 
to exercise these functions. The granting of this 
permission is technically called giving faculties. A 
priest, by virtue of his ordination, has always the 
power to celebrate Mass ; an apostate priest has still 
this power, even as the apostate Judas was permitted 
to be the means of sacrificing his Master ; but no 
priest can celebrate Mass unless he has permission 
cr faculties from his bishop, without being guilty of 
canonical irregularity. And, further, so strict are 
the regulations of the Church in all that relates to 
her divine functions, that no priest can say Mass in 
any other diocese than his own, without permission 
from the bishop of the diocese, or in any parish but 

his own without the further permission of the parish 

The Government now desired to usurp this right, 
and inflict pains and penalties on those who dared to 
resist its usurpation. 

But there was a yet further, and a yet more 
grievous injustice. 

The Catholic priest cannot administer the sacra- 

The Priestly Office Threatened. 467 

ments, cannot hear a confession or give an absolution 
without faculties from his ecclesiastical superiors. 
He has the power, by virtue of his ordination, but 
he has not the right to exercise the power. 

The life of the Catholic priest is one long war- 
fare with the world, the flesh, and the devil. He is 
enlisted a soldier of the Church militant by his ordina- 
tion, but as a good soldier he must act under orders. 
There can be no confusion in the great camp of God's 
army, and he who introduces confusion does the 
sinner's work. 

There is one exception, and one only, in which 
the Catholic priest may exercise his divinely-given 
power without special permission from his divinely- 
appointed rulers. It is in the case of danger of 
death. When the enemy of souls is making his 
supreme effort to snatch his prey, the soldier needs 
no longer wait for permission to act. On the way- 
side, in the crowded mart, on the trackless ocean, 
wherever there is a human soul to save, or help in its 
awful passage from time to eternity, there and then 
the Catholic priest must do his office, must give the 
parting soul all the help the Church provides for his 
perilous journey. This is one of the most sacred 
privileges of the priest, and of this privilege — nay, 
rather of this divine right — the new act not only de- 
prived him, but threatened him with cruel penalties 
if he exercised it. 

The bill began with the higher clergy ; had it 
been passed, the history of English persecution of 
vol. n. 8 


Irish Catholics leaves no doubt that its restraints 
would soon have descended to the lower. The 
original Veto resolution referred only to bishops. 
Mr. Plunket's bill had descended to deans. 

It was idle to say that the Catholic sacraments 
were superstitious, that a Catholic dean who had not 
" faculties " from Government, might let the poor sin- 
ner who needed his services die unshrived and 
unannealed ; the whole question resolved itself for 
the Catholic into one single point ; he could not 
sacrifice that which he believed to be of divine right 
for any human consideration whatsoever. 

With regard to those who attempted to enforce 
on others that which they would not have submitted 
to themselves for a single moment, it was merely a 
a matter of intellectual obtuseness or unphilosophical 
bigotry. F or a man to stand before his fellow-men 
with the Bible in his hand, and proclaim liberty of 
conscience to his fellow-men, to accept his interpreta- 
tion of the Bible and no other, is to place himself on 
a throne of individual infallibility ; for if he be not 
individually infallible, by what right does he require 
others to submit to his opinions ? For a man to en- 
force these opinions by any penal law, however trifling, 
is an act of the grossest injustice. 

Mr. Plunket's bills passed the Lower House, but, 
happily, for Ireland, they were thrown out in the 
Upper House upon the second reading. 

Early in July, 1821, it was publicly announced 
that the king would visit Ireland, and O'Connell 

The Queen refused Coronation. 

drew up a form of requisition for a Catholic meet- 
ing, to consider an address. But the Catholic 
nobility were entirely opposed to O'Connell's plans. 
They were fearful of compromising their position in 
any way ; they had little to gain by an amelioration 
of the general position of their religious brethren, 
and were naturally anxious to identify themselves as 
little as possible with a proscribed creed. 

George IV. was crowned on the 19th of July, 
1821. On the 10th of July, the Privy Council had 
refused the appeal of the Queen to be crowned with 
him. "With that stubborn resolution which she dis- 
played invariably at the wrong time, and in the wrong 
fashion, she did her pitiful best to obtain access to 
Westminster Abbey. On the 16th, she informed the 
Duke of Norfolk, as earl-marshal, that she intended 
to take her place, and requested that persons should 
be in attendance to conduct her to her seat. She 
sent a further message to say that she would be at 
the Abbey by eight o'clock ; but she was there at 
six, the most forlorn and wretched woman in all that 
great city. Lord Hood was with her, and a faithful 
friend, but she was repulsed at every door. One or 
two kindly voices exclaimed, " The Queen for ever !" 
but the multitude hissed and cried, " Shame, shame ! 
go to Bergamo ! " 1 It was the last blow, and the 
death-blow. She knew not what her few friends had 
known for long enough, that she would never be 
crowned Queen of England. 

1 Twiss's "Life of Lord Eldon," vol. ii. p. 48. 


The King sets out for Ireland. 

She entered the carriage weeping bitterly, and 
she went home to die. 

The King, in the meantime, had set out for Ire- 
land. It is difficult to see what could have been his 
object in this visit. It may have been personal popu- 
larity, but it is doubtful if George IV. had sufficient 
intellect to act on any preconcerted plan, even to attain 
that end. He heard of the Queen's danger with the 
utmost unconcern ; only he had the decency to delay 
his voyage to Ireland, and to arrange that if he 
should arrive there before her death his entry should 
be private. 1 

The King landed at Howth on the 12th of August. 
He occupied himself during the passage eating goose- 
pie, drinking whiskey, and singing songs, and on his 
arrival he was in the last stage of intoxication. 2 Such 
delinquencies were, however, easily condoned in 
royalty. He was driven to the Viceregal Lodge in 
the Phoenix Park, and the city gave way to exu- 
berant loyalty. It was something to have a king in 

1 Knighton's Memoirs, p. 91. — "The King was nearly lost off 
the Land's End, in one of the yatching expeditions in which he 
whiled away the time. He thus described his danger : — * the oldest 
and most experienced sailors were petrified and paralysed.' " 

2 " The passage to Dublin was occupied in eating goose-pie and 
drinking whiskey, in which his Majesty partook most abundantly, 
singing many joyous songs, and being in a state, on his arrival, to 
double in sight even the numbers of his gracious subjects assembled 
on the pier to receive him. The fact is, he was in the last stage of 
intoxication ; however, they got him to the park." — Letter from Mr. 
Freemantle to the Marquis of Buckingham — Memoirs of the Court of 
George IV., vol. i. p. 194. 

The Royal Procession. 


Ireland once more, and a king who had come with 
liberal promises. 

In the meantime, while all this demonstrative 
loyalty was being rendered in Ireland, some of the 
King's English subjects were showing their dislike of 
his neglect of the decencies of life in allowing his 
Queen to be buried in contempt. Sir Robert Wilson 
was made the scapegoat, and on the king's return he 
was dismissed from the army. 

The king remained in retirement a few days, and 
then presented himself in state to his Irish subjects. 
The pageant was arranged for the 17th of August, 
and such a pageant, viewed from point of numbers 
and enthusiasm, was probably never witnessed — Ire- 
land had certainly never seen its like. 

The King went in royal procession from one of 
the finest parks in the world to the finest street in 
the world. He passed through Phibsborough, then 
a part of Xhe country, now a continuation of Dublin, 
through Eccles-street, and into Cavendish-row, skirt- 
ing Rutland-square, and entering at the Rotundo. 
Here, at the head of Sackville-street, a pleasant 
fiction was enacted. A barrier of evergreens was 
attached to a wooden frame, so as to shut out the 
view of that noble street, and a gate was left in the 
barrier or verdant wall, where further progress was 
denied his Majesty, until he had obtained the free- 
dom of the city from the Mayor. After the usual 
ceremonies, carried out with the utmost punctilio 
and with the most magnificent decorations, the 


A Boar of Welcome. 

gates were thrown open, and the King permitted to 

The sight he witnessed was such as had seldom 
gladdened monarch's heart before. A roar of triumph 
and welcome rose up to the blue heaven above from 
thousands and tens of thousands of people. All the 
chivalry, all the passionate loyalty, all the delicate 
courtesy which ever welcomed a stranger — and which 
can scarcely refuse that welcome even to an enemy — 
had found at last an outlet. They had heard, indeed, 
of kings who ruled over them, of Williams and 
Georges, who were said to govern by the grace of 
God, but who were only known to them by acts 
which seemed to savour a good deal more of the 
malignity of the devil. Here was the King ; in 
person noble, in manner gracious, with just that 
happy blending of conscious royalty with what 
passed current for the tim« as affectionate con- 

The air was rent with acclamations, and the 
monarch enhanced the favour of his kingly presence 
a thousand fold by clasping to his heart the large 
bunch of shamrocks which he wore. For the time, 
probably, he was moved ; he could not but be moved 
by their demonstration of loyalty. How were this 
trusting people to know that the shamrocks would be 
flung aside in a few brief hours for a carouse with 
the mistress who accompanied him, and with whom 
he scandalously kept company at the Viceregal 

Scene in SackviUe-street. 


Sackville-street is, as we have said, the finest 
street in the world. Its length, three-eighths of a 
mile, and its breadth of 120 feet, is only broken by 
Nelson's pillar, which faces the Post-Office, a noble 
building. Its houses are fairly regular, and of con- 
siderable height. Now the multitudes who thronged 
the streets left only space for the passage of the royal 
equipage, in which the King continued standing as it 
passed along, bowing, with a grace peculiarly his 
own, and pointing histrionically to his heart and to 
his shamrock. Every u coin of vantage" was literally 
occupied. Even the very capital which supported 
the statue of Nelson on his pillar, which shoots up 
134 feet into the air, had its occupants. The front- 
age of the Post-Office was crowded, and gaily-dressed 
ladies thought themselves happy to find a place on 
the architrave above. The procession passed over 
Carlisle Bridge, and then wended its way through 
College-green and Dame-street to the Castle. 

Even the higher classes were affected by the 
general outburst of loyalty, and very large sums of 
money were subscribed (on paper) to build a royal 
residence. It was agreed that a million of money 
should be raised through the country for the same 
purpose from the unhappy peasantry. Fortunately 
for them, the scheme fell through when the king left 
Ireland, and when it was found that the noblemen 
who had been so liberal of their promises were by 
no means willing to carry them into execution. 

O'Connell promised to contribute twenty guineas 


A People Easily Deceived. 

a-year to the fund, but his subscription was never re- 
quired. On the King's departure he presented him 
with a laurel crown. It was reported in the English 
papers that the King had given O'Connell his cap 
in return, a statement which O'Connell indignantly 

The King sailed away from the Irish shores, 
leaving after him a loyal and contented, because im- 
pressionable nation. There is not on the earth a 
people so easily deceived as the Irish, because their 
natural bonhommie leads them to trust, and their 
natural buoyancy of character leads them to hope. 

How their trust was betrayed, and their hopes 
shattered, are too well known to need record here. 
The King left the country a lecture on unity, and a 
compliment on their loyalty, in the shape of a letter 
from Lord Sidmouth to the Lord Lieutenant ; and so 
the royal visit ended. He embarked at Dunleary, a 
village then, a town now, and so called from Laog- 
hair e j a famous Irish monarch. It has since been 
called Kingstown. 

But though the King was obliged to receive the 
laurel crown from O'Connell, his hatred of the bold 
advocate of Irish rights was unabated. After the 
Emancipation Act had passed, O'Connell presented 
himself at a levee in London. He approached the 
royal presence with the usual ceremonies, but as 
he saw " the royal lips moving," he advanced, be- 
lieving that he was addressed. Whatever the King 
had said was inaudible, so O'Connell kissed hands 

O'Connell Cursed by the King. 


and passed on. In a few days some curious reports 
appeared in the papers. It was said the King had 
used some strong language, which was not unusual ; 
it was said also that he cursed some one at the levee, 
which was unusual ; and more, that the individual 
favoured by the royal anathema was Irish. O'Connell 
met the Duke of Norfolk soon after, and asked if he 
could explain the newspaper reports. " Yes," he 
replied, "you are the person alluded to. The day 
you were at the levee, his Majesty said, as you were 
approaching, c There is O'Connell. G — d — the 
scoundrel ! ' " 1 

When speaking of George IV. 's visit to Ireland, 
O'Connell's opinion of the royal visitor was by no 
means complimentary. He described him then " as 
being a most hideous object;" though in 1794 "he 
was a remarkably handsome, fine man," and " a very 
fine-looking fellow." O'Connell's opinion of his 
appearance in 1820 may have been influenced by 
the fact that he was humbugged by royalty, although 
he stoutly declared the contrary. If O'Connell sof- 
tened a little in the presence of royalty, it was be- 
cause he was Irish, and had imbibed the trusting 
nature of the Celt with his mother's milk. It was 
not to his discredit that he should have believed 
" the greatest liar in England" for a time, when more 
experienced men were equally deceived. 2 

1 " Personal Recollections of O'Connell." By O'Neil Daunt. 

2 O'Connell used often to relate the well-known anecdote of Fox 
and Mrs. Fiztherbert. "I believe," he used to say, "that there 


" The Greatest Liar in England," 

There is no doubt that the King was carried 
away either by the enthusiasm of the people or by 
his copious libations of whiskey during his Irish 
visit. 1 He found himself in an uncomfortable posi- 
tion on his return from Germany, whither he had 
proceeded after his visit to Ireland ; but the dis- 
comfort was of short continuance, Irish opinion was 
of too little consequence to disturb the royal mind. 

Yet there were noble-hearted men in England 
even then who pitied Irish degradation, and, not 
altogether understanding the Irish character, blamed 
the effervescent loyalty of the people. One of the 
most powerful and stinging political ballads of that 
or any other age was written on this subject by Lord 

never was a greater scoundrel than George the Fourth. To his 
other evil qualities he added a perfect disregard of truth. During 
his connexion with Mrs. Fitzherbert, Charles James Fox dined with 
him one day in that lady's company. After dinner, Mrs. Fitzherbert 
said, ' By the by, Mr. Fox, I had almost forgotten to ask you, what 
you did say about me in the House of Commons the other night ? 
The newspapers misrepresent so very strangely, that one cannot de- 
pend on them. You were made to say, that the Prince authorised 
you to deny his marriage with me !' — The Prince made monitory 
grimaces at Fox and immediately said, 1 Upon my honour, my dear, 
I never authorised him to deny it.' — ' Upon my honour, sir, you 
did,'' said Fox, rising from the table ; 1 1 had always thought your 
father the greatest liar in England, but now I see that you are.' " 

1 " The Duchess of Gloucester went to see him [the King] 
yesterday. . . . He is not so much enraptured with Ireland as she 
expected to see him. I believe he is a little alarmed at the ad- 
vances and favour he has shown to the Catholics." — Mr. H. W. 
Freemantle to the Marquis of Buckingham — Memoirs of the Court of 
George IV., vol. i. p. 201. 

Lord Byron s "Avatar." 


Byron. He had defended "hereditary bondsmen" 
not only in the heroic metre but in the grander epic 
of action. In his Avatar the keenest irony of all 
was, perhaps, that contained in the opening verse : 

" Ere the daughter of Brunswick is cold in her grave, 
And her ashes still float to their home o'er the tide, 
Lo ! George the Triumphant speeds over the wave 

To the long-cherished isle which he loved — like his bride." 

Even O'Connell did not escape his scathing de- 
nunciation, while he certainly did not spare those of 
his own rank. He taunts O'Connell with proclaim- 
ing the accomplishments of the monarch, and asks 
Lord Fingal, in allusion to his being made a Knight 
o £ St. Patrick : 

" Will thy yard of blue ribbon, poor Fingal, recall 
The fetters from millions of Catholic limbs? 
Or has it not bound thee the fastest of all 

The slaves who now hail their betrayer with hymns?" 

As grave fears were now felt in England of a coali- 
tion between the English Kadicals and the Irish 
Catholics, the Marquis of Wellesley was sent to Ire- 
land as Viceroy to raise the hopes of the latter party. 
But there was just this difference between the policy 
adopted towards the vast majority of the Irish nation 
and the few Orangemen who sought to govern it : 
from time to time, it was whispered to the nation that 
some measure of justice was to be dealt out to it, 
but when the time came for doing the justice, it was 
generally found inexpedient. With the Orange 


The Marquis of Wellesley. 

party there was less talk, and a great many grants of 
even unpromised favours. 1 

The Marquis of Wellesley, in pursuance of an 
occasional policy, professed to come as the friend of 
the Catholics ; but, in pursuance of the usual policy, 
acted as the patron of the Orangemen. He got 
scant thanks for his pains, even from them. His 
marriage with a Catholic lady did not improve his 
position in their eyes, and the u Exports of Ireland," 
at public dinners, became a favourite toast, the pro- 
posers having scarcely the decency to wait until his 
Excellency had left the banquet-table. 2 

At the drunken orgies usually held at the decora- 

1 On the 10th March, 1822, Mr. Freemantle wrote thus to the 
Duke of Buckingham from the Board of Control : " With regard to 
Ireland, I am quite satisfied the great man is holding the most 
conciliatory language to all parties ; holding out success to the 
Catholics, and a determination to resist them to the Protestants." — 
Memoirs of the Court of George IV., vol. i. p. 295. 

It was no wonder O'Connell worked hard for Repeal of the Union. 

The Duke of Montrose, in writing to Lord Eldon during the 
King's visit to Dublin, spoke of Ireland and its inhabitants in a 
fashion which showed the utter ignorance of English statesmen on 
such subjects. He was "surprised with the city and its superior 
inhabitants," no doubt having always believed the traditional Irish 
barbarian theory; but he was shrewd enough to see, and honest 
enough to express an opinion on, the misfortunes of the country 
also. " It certainly wants capital and the residence of its nobility 
and gentry ; the latter will secure the increase of the former, and 
must, in my opinion, precede the former. The land appears to be 
let too high, and to be very little manured." — Life of Lord Chan- 
cellor Eldon, vol. ii. p. 433. 

2 The Marquis married Mrs. Patterson, an American lady, 
remarkable for her beauty, which was enhanced by her fortune of 

An Unheard-of Outrage. 


tion of King William's statue, the 12th. Lancers 
shouted - To hell with the Pope," a miserably party 
cry not yet extinct, and they supplemented their 
ignorant blasphemy with a curse on O'Connell, " the 
Pope in the pillory in hell, and the devil pelting 
O'Connell at him." Probably there were not ten men 
in the whole rabble rout who had the very least idea 
what the Pope believed or taught. 

The Beeksteak Club held its revels safe under the 
shadow of respectability. It was originally a musical 
society, but had long ceased to promote harmony of 
any kind. At one of the carousals the obnoxious 
toast was quaffed. Three officers of the Castle were 
present, and all Dublin was electrified at hearing 
next morning that they were dismissed. The rage 
of the Orange party w r as unbounded. They had not 
been accustomed to interference in their exhibitions 
of disloyalty. They determined to have their re- 
venge, and they had it. The Marquis was alarmed 
at his own boldness. To interfere with the Orange, 
or Protestant ascendency party, was an unheard-of 
• ; outrage" on the part of the Government. He had 
to compromise matters by going to dine with the 
club uninvited. Lord Manners, the Chancellor, pre- 
sided. All was conducted with due decorum, until 
his Excellency rose to take his leave. He walked 
through files of Orangemen to the door, but he had 

£100,000. This lady was the widow of Jerome Bonaparte, Napo- 
leon's brother. She was a descendant of Carroll of Carrolton, one 
of the Irish signers of the American Declaration of Independence. 


Orangeism Rampant. 

scarcely reached it ere every glass was filled, and 
before he had left, the toast of the " Exports of Ire- 
land" was given and drunk with shouts of triumph. 
It was a lesson to the Marquis not to interfere with 
Orangemen again. 

English statesmen wrote to each other confiden- 
tially for the hundredth time, that they were assured 
" by very intelligent" friends that " Ireland was in a 
worse state than ever," and that nothing but " vigo- 
rous measures" would save it. The vigorous mea- 
sures were entirely limited to one side — to the side 
that could be coerced with impunity ; consequent^, 
the " worse state than ever" seemed likely to be still 
a normal condition of Irish affairs. 1 What could be 
done with those who would not be put down, who 
would rule the Government, and who had the hearty 
sympathy of the whole English nation in all their 
misdeeds. If the Maquis of Wellesley had dared to 
proceed against these men, they would have brought 
a storm about his ears which would have resulted in 
his recall. As it was, because he made some little 
show of justice to the Catholic party, he was grossly 
insulted in the theatre, and his life threatened on the 
occasion of the famous " Bottle riot," at the close of 
the year 1822. The offenders were brought to the 
bar — their guilt was clearly proved. It was one of 
the fiercest and most unprovoked attacks ever made 
on Government. It was the result of a deep-laid plot 

1 Letter from the Right Honourable T. Grenville to the Marquis 
of Buckingham — Memoirs of George IV.," vol. ii. p. 215. 

A Great Catholic Triumph 

against the Lord-Lieutenant. He narrowly escaped 
with his life; but the offenders were Orangemen, and 
they escaped, because no jury could be found to 
bring them in guilty. 

At the commencement of that year, a corporation 
dinner was given at Morrison's Hotel, at which the 
glorious memory was drunk, and the proposer, Sir 
Thomas Whelan, hoped that the corporation u would 
never forget that great, that brave man who had 
made them what they were." 

The compliment to the royal memory was a doubt- 
ful one. If William tyrannised, he tyrannised to win 
or keep a kingdom ; but those men were, each in 
their way, petty tyrants, tyrants who boasted of their 
pitiful illiberality, and gloried in their ignorant 
bigotry. Even at this very dinner, they declared 
that the kingdom would not be " safe for six months," 
because some little grace was shown to their Catholic 
fellow-subjects. For them, indeed, there was but 
one kingdom, their own little body corporate, and but 
one freedom, liberty to insult those who dared to 
differ from them. 

The Catholics obtained a great triumph, however, 
at this period, by the return of Mr. White for the 
county of Dublin. He was opposed by Sir Compton 
Domville, a violent Orange partisan. Both parties 
were lavish in their bribes, but O'Connell's eloquence 
and nerve carried the day for White. He went from 
chapel to chapel along the Dublin coast, and spoke to 
the freeholders in small parties with that persuasive 


Independent Electors, 

eloquence which rarely failed of its effect. The 
priests were, as they have always been, most ear- 
nest in supporting the unhappy victims of landlord 
tyranny, and Sir Compton learned for the first time, 
with equal annoyance and indignation, that his 
tenants dared to call their votes their own. 

Cbaptcr (blcbeittlj. 



Flood and Connor: Cross-examination of Flood: 
Plunket and Hart: Formation of Catholic As- 
sociation: Priests and People brought into 
Action: First Meeting : The Inexorable Purcell : 
The Penny -a-month Scheme for Liberating 
Ireland: Grand Aggregate Meeting: The Con- 
version Mania : The Pope and Maguire Con- 
troversy : Abortive Prosecution of O'Connell: 
The Duke of York's (e So-help-me-God" Speech: 
The King's Speech and the Association: Lords 
Liverpool and Brougham : O'Connell in London : 
Lords Palmerston and Eldon: The Ladies: 
O'ConnelVs Popularity: Aims of the Associa- 
tion: Another Challenge: Shiel: Canning. 



XT HEN O'Connell was on 
circuit in the spring of 
1822, a most amusing 
trial took place at the Tralce 
assizes. The account, which 
has never before been published, ex- 
& cept in a local paper, was supplied to 
the present writer by a gentleman 
who was present on the occasion and 
thoroughly conversant with all the cir- 

About this time the Government began 
to take active measures for the suppression 
of illegal trade. New laws were made, 
heavy penalties inflicted, and, above all, an 
active officer was sent down to assist, and 
look after the justices of the peace, some of whom 
were more than suspected of complicity and conni- 


An Actor SjmlecL 

vance. The man's name was Flood. He commenced 
life as a lamplighter in the Crow-street Theatre, in 
Dublin. He was a notability there, and used to keep 
the green-room in roars with his recitations, obtain- 
ing more money in this way than many legitimate 
wearers of the buskin, "To his other accomplish- 
ments he added, that of being a most expert swimmer i 
and he was given a fine appointment in the revenue 
as a reward for saving the life of some nobleman's 

He was active and energetic, and we now find 
him as John Flood, Esq., settled in Dingle. 

But the man was an actor spoiled. Dingle, to 
use a local expression, was " at the back of God- 
speed f and instead of getting up a cutter, he got up 
a theatre. Flood became at once the most popular 
man in Dingle. Every house was open to him, and 
every party. Plays led to supper-parties, and Flood, 
who was supposed to hunt piracy by sea, turned 
pirate on land, if tradition does not belie him ; and 
was more than once had up before the "justices" for 
raids on neighbouring farms, to obtain geese and 
turkeys for his convivial meetings. Ugly reports 
went up to Dublin, and Flood felt assured that he 
must capture something more important than fowl, if 
he wished to retain his situation. 

Fortune favoured him. He seized a Dingle shop- 
keeper named Connor, who had long engaged un- 
molested in illicit trade. He seized him at midnight, 
at the head of forty horses, each bearing three large 

"Come hack, Alonzo!" 

4 37 

sacks of tobacco. Information was given, and spe- 
cial counsel sent down to the Tralee assizes to pro- 

But Connor, who held a very respectable position, 
had a great number of friends in Tralee. They 
wisely retained O'Conneil for Ids counsel. His case 
certainly could not have looked worse. The man 
was caught in the act, and fourteen years was the 
lightest sentence he could expect. 

Connor's friends employed the shop boys and 
others to watch Flood for the three or four days 
preceding the trial. They made him declaim for 
them, and act for them, and they supplied him abun- 
dantly with drink. They kept him in a state of semi- 
intoxication ; and when he came to give his evidence 
at the trial, he was, to use the vernacular, more than 
half-seas over. 

The evidence was simple enough. lie had lain 
in ambush for Connor, had seen him approaching 
with his forty horses, had sprung out upon him and 
seized him, but the horses had escaped. 

He was just going down from the witness-box 
when he was recalled by O'Conneil for cross-exami- 

u Come back, Alonzo !" roared O'Conneil. 

O'Conneil knew Alonzo well ; every one did in 
Dublin, and was well informed of his former career 
by Connor's friends. 

The right chord was touched. Flood turned 
round to the place from whence the rolling tones 


The Bight Chord Touched. 

nad proceeded, exclaiming, u Alonzo the brave, and 
the fair Imogene !" in his best theatrical style. 

O'Connell opened fire. There was no fear of his 
client now. 

He began, " And who was your Imogene in 

Flood shook his head and made imploring ges- 
tures. It was no use. When O'Connell had a victim 
in the witness-box, he might resign himself ; it was 
useless to struggle. Flood was obliged to answer. 
He was obliged to tell how many Imogenes he had 
in Dingle, how many supper-parties he had given, 
how many parts he had played, and then — how many 
famous hen-roosts he had robbed. At last Flood 
got into a towering passion, and abused O'Connell 
bitterly. So much the better for his client. He 
puzzled, bewildered, cajoled, and enraged Flood, 
until he made him contradict his own sworn evidence 
twenty times over. He plied him with quotations 
from Shakespeare in one breath, and then most 
adroitly insinuated a leading question. At last Flood 
became so excited that he made a spring towards 
O'Connell, exclaiming, " My love, my life, my Belvi- 
dera !" Unhappy man ! amidst the roaring laughter 
of jury, counsel, and judge, he fell between the wit- 
ness-box and the bench, and was taken up half- 
unconscious, yet muttering threats of deadly ven- 
geance against his tormentor. 

Connor was acquitted by the jury after a quarter 
of an hour's " deliberation." 

" Very sore at Heart." 

When my informant reminded O'Connell of the 
circumstance some years later, at Darrynane, he 
said lie had completely forgotten it. The next day, 
however, he said that " Alonzo" and " Belvidera" had 
been haunting his memory since the previous day, 
that he distinctly remembered the whole case, and 
that it was the greatest triumph he had ever had in a 
court of justice, not even excepting that which he had 
gained in the Doneraile conspiracy. 

I am indebted for the following anecdote to a 
legal friend who is a distinguished member of the 
Irish bar 1 : 

" When Lord Manners retired from the Chancellorship, a 
great part of the public looked to Plunket, the Attorney- 
General, then in the zenith of his fame as an orator and a 
statesman, as the successor to the high place. The news- 
papers announced and the people received it as a fact, and the 
known object of his ambition seemed already in the possession 
of the pre-eminent labourer. English policy, however, or it 
may be the inability to spare such an ally from the House of 
Commons, stopped his promotion for the time, and Sir Anthony 
Hart, of the English bar, sat as Lord Chancellor of Ireland. 
A brilliant gathering of the ' Long Robe' received the stranger 
on his first sitting with the customary obeisance. The dis- 
appointed, if not insulted, Attorney-General was there, and 
Saurin and Goold, and Bush, and Wallace and Joy ; and 
amongst the juniors, Blackburne and Shiel ; but, greatest 
amongst the great, ' the observed of all observers,' the future 
Liberator. * How does Plunket look this morning, Dan ? ' 
cries Shiel in a shrill whisper. * Very sore at Heart,' responded 
Dan, rolling his large grey eye towards the bench ; and the 
timely hit ran round the gay circle, and soon the buzzing and 

1 Sergeant Armstrong. 

490 Catholic Association formed. 

crowded hall — adding to the long roll of the great Dan's hard 
yet pleasant sayings." 

One of the most important undertakings of 
O'Connell's life was the formation of the Catholic 
Association. He had formed the Catholic Com- 
mittee, which was abolished by Government ; he 
had formed the Board, which was also abolished by 
Government ; but as they could not abolish O^Con- 
nell, he next formed the Catholic Association. The 
circular letter which preceded the first meeting was 
the joint composition of O'Connell and Shiel. The 
first meeting was held at a tavern in Sackville-street, 
on the 28th of April, 1823. Lord Killeenwas voted 
to the chair, and O'Connell made the opening speech ; 
in which he observed with great truth and shrewd- 
ness that " some persons should take upon themselves 
the trouble of managing the affairs of the Catholics." 
Never had Catholics a more competent leader than 
the man who enunciated this truth. 

But there was yet more to be done. A plan had 
to be formed which could not be interfered with by 
Government. Such an undertaking was one into 
which the Liberator could enter with a special zest. 
O'Connell's plan was an open club. Members were 
admitted on payment of one guinea per annum with- 
out canvass or ballot, on the viva voce proposal of a 
friend. But O'Connell saw now that it was time to 
bring two powerful bodies into action, the priests 
and the people. Hitherto, all Catholic movements 
had been led and carried out by the upper classes, 

Priests and People Organised. 


and with fitful and intermitting help from the aristo- 

The people wild were to become members of this 
Association were to pay one shilling a-year. Poor 
as the Irish peasant was, there were few indeed who 
could not give this trifling sum, and fewer still who 
would refuse it. The very fact of contributing to 
and being a member of such an association was an 
incalculable benefit. lie hoped for the first time to 
give the lower class of Irish a sense of power, in- 
dividual responsibility, and of independence. They 
had now a personal interest in every debate of the 
Association, they now felt that something was being 
done for them, and that they need not seek redress 
in the wild justice of revenge. 

The connexion of the Catholic clergy with the 
Association was an arrangement of still greater im- 
portance. In order to rule the people, it was neces- 
sary that they should have leaders. The landlords, 
with whom they were continually at feud, who hated 
their religion, and too often opposed them in tem- 
poral affairs, were not to be thought of. Who, then, 
could be chosen but the priest ? And the priest 
did his work wisely and well. He kept the people 
united, he made them strong, he gave them hope, 
they learned from him, from time to time, how the 
great work was progressing. Each individual knew 
that his penny went safely to the general fund, and 
contributed its share to the common object. True, 
it was but a drop in the ocean, but the ocean is 


Secret of O'ConnelVs Success. 

formed of drops ; and the Catholic rent, made up of 
pennies, became a power in Ireland before which 
English statesmen and cabinets learned to trim the 
sails of their barque with cautious fear. i 

Shiel, always cautious, doubted if the plan would 
succeed. 1 O'Connell, always bold, said it would, for 
lie would make it. This was, indeed, the secret of 
O'Connell's success, as it must ever be the secret of 
all success. Yet, when we look at O'Connell, in the 
zenith of his power and his popularity, we are too 
apt to forget the difficulties he encountered in arriv- 
ing at this consummation. It is a common saying 
that " nothing succeeds like success but it should 
be remembered that success takes a good deal of dis- 
appointment as well as a great deal of labour — a 
good deal of discouragement as well as a great deal 
of indomitable courage. 

On the 13th of May 1823, The Irish Catholic 
Association, as it was now styled, met at Coyne's, a 
Catholic bookseller, who lived at No. 4 Capel Street, 
and here its future meetings were held. A few gen- 
tlemen talked and doubted. O'Connell talked too, 
but he worked. The gentlemen were for petition- 
ing Parliament in well-considered and courteous lan- 
guage. O'Connell came out with statements of facts 
as to the oppression exercised on Catholics which no 
one could deny. 

At the meeting he showed how the poor Catho- 

1 " Memoir of O'Connell," by his Son, vol. ii. p. 409. 

" The Inexorable Purcell" 


lies in jail were deprived of the services of a chaplain 
even in their last moments, in consequence of the 
bigotry of the Dublin Grand Jury. They first ap- 
pointed Dr. Murphy because they knew he could not 
attend ; they next appointed a Spanish priest because 
he neither knew English nor Irish ; they then selected 
a gentleman whose intellect was astray ; and they at 
last chose a parish priest in Limerick, who was " to 
come up by the mail" when a convict was to be ex- 

The following anecdote is an evidence of O'Con- 
nell's difficulties, and of his energy in overcoming 
them. It was a rule of the Association that, if the 
members were not present at half-past three o'clock, 
that being the time of meeting, an adjournment should 
take place. Purcell O'Gorman, the secretary, notified 
the time with rigorous punctuality. O'Connell was 
harassed by the irregularity of the members. They 
would all promise to be present, but when the time 
came the promise would be broken or forgotten. On 
the 4th July 1824, says Mr. O'Connell's son, "the 
spell was broken 

4 'At twenty-three minutes past three, on that afternoon, 
there were but seven persons present, including Mr. O'Connell 
himself and the inexorable Purcell! the latter, as usual, watch 
in hand, not in the least moved by the anxiety so plainly de- 
picted in Mr. O'Connell's face. Another minute, and Mr. 
O'Connell could remain in the room no longer. He ran to- 
wards Coyne's shop, down-stairs, in the faint hope of finding 
somebody. On the stairs the eighth man passed him going 
up. In the shop itself were fortunately two young Maynooth 


The Budget, 

priests making some purchases. The rules of the Association 
admitting all clergymen as honorary members without special 
motion, he eagerly addressed and implored them to come up 
but for one moment, and help to make the required quorum. 
A.t first they refused, there being a good deal of hesitation 
generally on the part of the clergy to put themselves at all 
forward in politics, and these young men in particular having 
all the timidity of their secluded education about them. But 
there was no withstanding him ; partly by still more earnest 
solicitations, and partly by actual p u slung, he got them towards 
the staircase, and upon it, and finally into the meeting-room, 
exactly a second or two before the half-hour, and so stopped 
Mr. O'Gorman's mouth ; and the required number being thus 
made up, the chair wasHaken." 1 

O'Connell's master-mind had grasped not only 
the intellectual but even the financial arrangements 
of his new plan. He calculated that by his penny-a- 
month subscriptions £50,000 per annum would be 
raised. It was a goodly sum, but not more than 
sufficient for the purpose. He proposed the follow- 
ing division of the amount : 

For parliamentary expenses . . £ 5,000 

For the services of the Press . . . 15,000 
For law proceedings, in preserving the legal 
privileges of the Catholics, and prosecuting 
Orange aggressors ..... 15,000 

For the purpose of education for the Catholic 

poor . . . . . . . 5,000 

For educating Catholic priests for the service 

of America ...... 5,000 


The parliamentary expenses included, or rather 

1 " Memoir of O'Connell," by his Son, vol. ii. p. 478. 

O'Connell in Difficulty. 


involved, the residence of an agent in London, who 
would see to the presentation of petitions and other 
matters of equal importance. For the services of 
the press the sum was absolutely necessary, since 
the press was then hostile to Catholics with the 
rarest exceptions, and it was of vital importance that 
they should have an organ of their own. O'Connell 
had already been asked to assist in the providing 
funds for the education of priests in America, where 
the Irish were already emigrating in numbers, and 
laying the foundation of a mighty empire, where they 
might have ruled and reigned if there had been an 
O'Connell to govern them. 

The principal difficulty was to collect this Catho- 
lic rent ; but the word difficulty was not in O'Con- 
nell's dictionary. He said he would collect in his 
own parish himself : there were few gentlemen 
likely to follow his example, but the priests came to 
the rescue, and with their assistance the work was 
done. O'Connell's plan was, of course, scouted at 
first ; and even his sons were taunted at their school 
with their father's u penny-a-month plan for libe- 
rating Ireland." 

A grand aggregate meeting was held on the 27th 
of July 1824, in Old Townsend Street Chapel, Sir 
Thomas Esmonde in the chair. O'Connell's speech 
was received with even more than usual applause, 
and with a good deal of laughter. He had been 
sent an enormous package of books, pamphlets, and 
private letters relating to the Orangemen, of which 

496 An Occasional Phenomenon. 

he made effective and unsparing use. He read ex- 
tracts from these documents, which proved that the 
Society was a secret and deadly engine of tyranny, 
yet the Grown Solicitor for the county Donegal was 
Grand Master of a Lodge. One of the resolutions 
was this : 

"Resolved — 'That any Orangeman, who ever has, or may 
hereafter, sign any petition in favour of the Roman Catholics, 
and for their emancipation, be expelled from all Orange 
Lodges, and his name posted.'" 

From time to time a curious phenomenon occurs 
in Ireland. Some few individuals, with more zeal 
than discretion, and more bigotry than intellect, 
make a desperate attempt to " convert " the people 
from the religion to which they have adhered with 
unfailing fidelity for centuries. 1 The result is always 
failure, except in " famine years," when the unhappy 
peasantry are sometimes induced to barter their faith 
for bread. Such attempts are now, happily, com- 
paratively rare. Englishmen are too practical where 

1 On the 21st October 1826, Lord Palmerston wrote thus to the 
Honourable W. Temple : < 'The Catholic and anti-Catholic war is, 
however, carried on more vigorously than ever, and the whole 
people are by their race like a disciplined pack of hounds." He 
forgot, however, that he actually had a share in the hunt himself, 
for he says in an earlier part of the letter he had "a great mind" 
to send some "zealous" evangelical from Cambridge, then full of 
Simeon's great " revival," to work on his estates in Ireland. It 
does not seem to have ever occured to this intelligent statesmen that 
he was anxious himself to do the very thing which he blamed others 
for doing, and that he was accusing the Irish of a quarrel which 
had actually been forced on them. He did not consider at all what 

Misdirected Pli Man tit rop y. 

money is concerned to expend it without a corres- 
ponding return, and have at last discovered that the 
speculation in Irish fidelity to religion is more loss 
than profit. 

O'Connell, as might be expected, was a fierce 
opponent of all such attempts, and not without cause. 
The conversion mania was rampant in the year 1824, 
and the famous Tope and Maguire controversy agi- 
tated all Ireland. Each party, of course, claimed 
the victory after the public discussion, at which 
O'Connell assisted ; but it was said that Mr. Pope 
was more than convinced by Maguire's arguments 
though he continued to oppose them to the last. 

He sank into a state of melancholy, from which 
neither the vivacity of his Welsh wife, nor the 
benefit of her fortune, could rouse him. lie limited 
his theological efforts to giving lectures in private 

O'Connell's speech at the public discussion was 
lon^ and telling. At the conclusion he sucr^ested 


the result would be if he had been an Irish Catholic, possessin" 
some English estates tenanted by Protestants, and if he had selected 
some zealous Jesuit from Stoneyhurst College to go and convert 
them. In the conclusion of his letter, he blames the Orangemen 
sharply, and spoke of their "orgies" in this town [Londonderry] 
and Armagh; and concluded, "It is strange, in this enlightened 
age and enlightened country, people should be still debating whether 
it is wise to convert four or five millions of men from enemies to 
friends, and whether it is safe to give peace to Ireland." — Life 
of Lord Palmer ston, vol. i. pp. 178, 179. Yet he was not "en- 
lightened" enough himself to see that he was doing the very thing 
to a certain degree that he condemned in others. 


An Abortive Prosecution. 

that thegentlemen who were supporting the " Second 
Keformation," as the} 7 were pleased to call this move- 
ment, should turn their attention to the Orangemen 
in the North, though he was not aware that even 
Lord Palmerston deemed them in need of reforma- 
tion. Be made the pertinent observation that the 
Catholics were charged with altering Scripture, 
while, in point of fact, it was altered by Protestants ; 
and he showed that the divisions of Protestants 
themselves on the most vital questions of doctrine 
was an evidence that some authoritative source for 
definition was needed. 

Either O'Connell's boldness or the general hatred 
of the Government towards him brought on a prose- 
cution. On the 20th of December he made a speech 
in which he said : 

"He hoped that Ireland would never be driven to the 
system pursued by the Greeks. He trusted in God they would 
never be so driven. He hoped Ireland would be restored to 
her rights ; but if that day should arrive — if she were driven 
mad by persecution, he wished that a new Bolivar might 
arise — that the spirit of the Greeks and of the South Ameri- 
cans might animate the people of Ireland I " 

For this O'Connell was indicted, but the grand 
jury threw out the bill. The Dublin reporters be- 
haved nobly, one and all refusing to give up their 
notes, or to give information. The reporter of Saun- 
ders' News Letter was the only exception. This 
gentleman, however, was obliged to admit on exami- 
nation that he was asleep when the seditious words 
were said, and the case broke down for want of 

The " So-help-me-God" Speech. 


proper evidence. It was said that Mr. Plunket, the 
Attorney General, was the originator of the prosecu- 
tion, and that he was also the suggester or the active 
promoter of the " Second Reformation f and it was 
also said that the bill was thrown out to u spite " Mr. 
Plunket. 1 

O'Connell's uncle, old u Hunting-Cap," died this 
year, and the Liberator succeeded to his property, 
which proved an important addition to his profes- 
sional income. He was not, however, free from 
domestic care. Mrs. O'Connell's health was failing, 
and she was taken to the south of France. 

When the king's speech was preparing in the 
opening of 182<5, the "Irish difficulty," as usual, 
proved an obstacle. The king was ill, 2 at least he 
said so ; he was out of temper, at least his mistress 
said so. The cabinet was engaged on the Irish 
portion of the speech daily for hours. The anti- 
Catholics, with the Duke of York at their head, were 
crying out in the " so-help-me-God " style, which has 
been renewed in our own days. 3 The Burlington 

1 " There is much idea that the grand jury threw out the bill to 
spite Plunket." — Wynn to the Duke of Buckingham, Memoirs of 
George IV., vol. ii. p. 193. It certainly was not done to favour 
O'Connell, and it is an edifying specimen of the way "law" was 
carried out in Ireland. 

2 "The king is still in his bed, sulky and "out of humour, and, 
therefore, venting his spleen when and where he can. It all, how- 
ever, originates in the domestic concerns. Lady is not gone 

back," &C. — Memoirs of the Court of George IV., vol. ii. p. 217. 

3 The Duke of York's famous " so-help-me-God " speech was 
made on the 25th of April 1825, in the House of Lords. The anti- 

vol. ii. 10 


The Kings Speech. 

faction were for masterly inactivity. The Irish Ex- 
ecutive would not urge the necessity of a bill to put 
down the Catholic Association, much as they desired 
to do it, but they were quite willing to support one 
if Government would take the odium of it. 1 

There were " innuendoes" and " whispers/' and 
"looks;" and the Opposition sincerely hoped, and 
had some ground for suspecting, that it would all 
end in a dislocation." The Irish Attorney-General 
Plunket was got over to assist in the deliberation, 
and at last the speech was written. 2 Lord Eldon 
said, indeed, that he " did not admire the composi- 
tion, or the matter of the speech," 3 though he had to 
read it (and submit to it). 

The king's speech first asserted that Ireland was 

prosperous, and then opened out on the Catholic 

Association : 

" It is to be regretted that Associations should exist in 
Ireland which have adopted proceedings irreconcilable with the 

Catholic party were so charmed with it, that it was printed in gold 
letters like the famous Durham letter. The whole speech was 
intended to tell, as it did, with a certain class, against even the 
smallest concession to the Catholics. He said in conclusion : " I 
ever have, and ever shall, in any situation in which I may be 
placed, oppose these claims of the Roman Catholics. So-help-me- 
Gocl." The Duke was certainly sincere. 

1 " How they will arrange the speech with regard to Ireland is 
the real difficulty; the Cabinet, depend upon it, is engaged in this 
question daily for hours . . . Your benches are loud for doing 
nothing." — Letter from the Hon. W. Freem anile to the Duke of Buck- 
ingham, Memoirs of George IV., vol. ii p. 202. 

2 " Memoirs of George IV.," vol. ii. p. 201. 

3 "Twiss's Life of Lord Eldon," vol. ii. p. 531. 

.1 Massacre in Perspective. 


spirit of the constitution, and calculated, by exciting alarm and 
by exasperating animosity, to endanger the peace of society 
and to retard the course of national improvement. His Ma- 
jesty relies upon your wisdom to consider without delay the 
means of applying a remedy to this evil." 

The result was a bill for the suppression of the 
Catholic Association, which was brought in by Mr. 
Goulbourn on the 10th of February, 182o. The 
Catholics petitioned against the bill ; they explained 
the working of the Association j but what was the 
use of explanation to those who were determined not 
to believe them. There were men both in and 
out of Parliament who knew the whole thing was a 
M Popish plot," the constitution to be subverted by 
it, the Protestants to be massacred. 1 Reasoning with 
men of this class was simply useless, because they 
were incapable of reasoning. If they asserted any- 
thing, that was in itself a sufficient proof of its truth. 
So, having asserted a falsehood, they reasoned on 
the falsehood, and might as well be left to the en- 

1 Mr. Wynn wrote to the Duke of Buckingham: " Mr. Lewis 
describes the local alarm as very great ; numbers of persons having 
sat up on Christmas Eve in Dublin in expectation of waking dead 
corpses if they allowed themselves to go to sleep. This I heard 
also from Peel, who describes the alarmists as doing incalculable 
mischief by talking before Catholic servants of the massacre," 
Sec. — Memoirs of the Court of George IV., vol. ii. p. 193. This was 
an old trick of the Protestant ascendancy party. They chose to 
suppose or invent a massacre in perspective ; thus they excited the 
unhappy people by denouncing them to Government, by arrests on 
suspicion, and by using the most violent language before them, and 
at last they exasperated them into some outrage which seemed to 
give a colour of truth to the prediction. 


A J/Ucied with Jesuitaphobia. 

joy men t of their own delusion. When they con- 
descended to give any reason except their own 
assertion, it was generally original, and of about as 
much value as the assertion. They had "heard" 
that one or two Italian Jesuits 1 had been seen in 
Dublin, therefore, of course, there was a Jesuit plot ; 
and the priests had preached on the last judgment, 
as they had always done in Advent for centuries 
before Orangemen or Protestants were heard of, and, 
of course, they meant, not what they said, but that a 
judgment in the form of a massacre was to come on 
the Protestants. 

It is scarcely credible that rational beings could 
be so credulous, and it would be incredible if they 
had not left their own credulity and folly on record. 

These were the class of men with whom O'Con- 
n ell had to deal. In England, men like the Duke of 
York, who called God to witness that they would 

1 "I am confident, as I have long since been, that the priests 
have laid a deep plot, and are daily preparing the minds of the 
people for the execution of it, which is no less than the exter- 
mination of the Protestants, and they have said as much." — LclL r 
from Mr. Hans Hamilton to Lord Colchester, Diary of Lord Colc/us- 
ter, vol. iii. p. 450. Poor Mr. Hamilton suffered from Jesuita- 
phobia. The unhappy man believed that every parish priest was 
a Jesuit, but he does not tell us how he came to be so intimately 
acquainted with the councils of the Societ}\ His own letters are a 
sufficient evidence of his folly. If the priests had laid a plot to 
massacre the Protestants, it is not likely they would ''have said as 
much" to him at any time. Persons affected with Jesuitaphobia 
arc generally terribly inaccurate in their statements. They re- 
present the Jesuits at one time as the most wise and crafty of 
mortals, and at others as fearful fools. 

The Old Story. 


persevere in bigotry to the death ; in Ireland, men 
like Mr. Hans Hamilton, who imagined they knew 
everything about a religion which they despised, and 
whose only idea of making converts was by physical 
force. 1 

Lord (then Mr.) Brougham undertook the defence 
of the Association in the House of Commons. The 
bill for its suppression was brought in on the night of 
the 18th February, 182 o. The House was crowded 
to excess. O'Connell and his companions, noble 
specimens of the Irish race, sat below the bar of the 
House. They had hoped they might be called on to 
plead, and O'Connell had prepared a speech for the 
purpose, which he delivered afterwards at a public 

Lord Liverpool opened the charge as Prime 
Minister. He accused the Association of " evading 
and nullifying the law of the land," by levying an 
unauthorised tax upon the Catholic population of 
Ireland. He said, ' : If Catholic claims were to be 
granted, they ought to be granted on their own 
merits, and not to the demand of such associations, 
acting in such a manner." 2 

It was the old story. Catholics had put forward 

1 At the close of the year 1824, Mr. Hamilton wrote again : 
" Your Lordship has no doubt heard of the arrival of some Italian 
priests in Dublin a short time ago." In the same letter, he says, in 
one place, that he had discovered and disclosed all the plans of the 
Jesuits, and in another, that the Jesuits acted in such a way as to 
<s evade discovery.'" — Diary of Lord Colchester, vol. iii. p. 350. 

"Life and Admiuistration of Lord Liverpool," vol. iii. p. 320. 

504 Prejudices Removed on Both Sides. 

their claims very often quietly ; they were not listened 
to. Now they united to demand them, they were not 
to be granted, because they did not act submissively, 
as usual, and own they were wrong. They should 
not have acted at all ; the matter and the manner 
were sure to offend. Some few Irish peers spoke out 
nobly for fair play. Lord Brougham said the Asso- 
ciation was not seditious, and that "the Catholic 
clergy had been most active, and more than usually 
successful, in discouraging sedition and tumult.' 7 
Lord Clifden said that he was himself a subscriber 
to the Association. 

A month later, when Lord Liverpool moved the 
second reading of the bill, he poured forth a torrent 
of platitudes as to what had been already done for 
Ireland. According to his view of the case, the Irish 
had been overwhelmed with benefits, .and were the 
most ungrateful people in existence. 

O'Conneirs visit to London brought him in con- 
tact with many of the Catholic nobility, and helped 
to remove some prejudices on both sides. The Eng- 
lish Catholics found that O'Connell did not belong 
to the class of individuals who were then agitating in 
England ; and the Irish deputation received so much 
unexpected courtjesy, that they could not fail to take 
kindly recollections back with them to Ireland. 
Even the Edinburgh Review paid a tribute to the 
deputation, probably because that periodical was 
under the influence of Brougham. It admitted that 
"no men in circumstances so delicate had ever be- 

0' Council under Exanrinatwn. 


haved with greater temper and moderation;" and 
more than hinted that they had been deceived as to 
the subject of Catholic Emancipation. 

O'Connell "was examined before the Committee 
on the 9th of March, and again on the 11th. Lord 
Colchester has left an interesting note on this subject 
in his diary, though his description of O'Connell is 
not very complimentary. 1 

lie was an object of universal attraction, and 
made favourable impressions on some of the leading 
politicians of the day. 

Shortly before leaving London, he attended a 
public meeting at which the Duke of Norfolk pre- 
sided, where he spoke out in very plain language. 
Lord Colchester describes his speech as M long and 
furious," and complains he called Lord Liverpool a 
u driveller." Lord Palmerston had called him a 
" spoony," which was equally offensive ; but as the 
opinion was given in private correspondence, it only 
proves that noble English lords could use such ex- 

1 Extract from Diary " 9th Irish Committee. — O'Connell ex- 
amined for four hours ; confined himself to the state of the admi- 
nistration of justice, how far satisfactory or unsatisfactory, from the 
highest to the lowest jurisdiction, police included. O'Connell 
appears to be about fifty-three or fifty-four years of age, a stout- 
built man, with a black wig, and thin light-coloured eyebrows, 
about the middle stature, pale countenance and grave features, blue 
eyes, reflecting expression of countenance [sic], his whole deport- 
ment affected respectful and gentle, except in a few answers, when 
he displayed a fierceness of tone and aspect. He went to the 
Munster Circuit twenty-three or twenty-four years, but now only on 
special occasions." — Diary of Lord Colchester, vol. ill. p. 372. 


A New Private Toast. 

pressions as well as Irish agitators. 1 Indeed, there 
was a good deal of low language used in confidential 
communications at that period. Party feeling ran 
high, and some ladies even went so far as to keep 
their husbands at home by force to prevent them 
from voting on the Catholic question. As a reward 
for their enterprise they were toasted daily, as " The 
ladies who locked up their husbands." 2 

Lord Eldon's opinion of O'Connell at this period 
is also on record, as well as Lord Sidmouth's. The 
observations of these men are of special interest. 
Lord Eldon says : 

" On May 21, 1825, Mr. O'Connell pleaded as a barrister 
before me in the House of Lords on Thursday. His demea- 
nour was very proper, but he did not strike me as shining so 
much in argument as might be expected from a man who has 
made so much noise in his harangues in a seditious Associa- 

Lord Eldon evidently expected the "agitator" 

1 " I can forgive old women like the Chancellor [Lord Eldon], 
spoonies like Liverpool, ignoramuses like Westmoreland, stumped- 
up old Tories like Bathurst ; but how such a man as Peel, liberal, 
enlightened, and fresh-minded, should find himself running in such 
a pack, is hardly intelligible." — Life of Lord Palmerston, vol. i. p. 
178. It was precisely because Peel was neither liberal nor en- 
lightened when Irish affairs were concerned that he did run with 
the pack. 

2 Possibly it was because Lord Eldon was " an old woman" that 
he especially notes the proceedings of these ladies. He says : " I 
forgot to tell you yesterday that we have got a new private toast. 
Lady. Warrick and Lady Braybrooke (I think that is her name) 
would not let their husbands go to the House to vote for the 
Catholics, so we Protestants drink daily as our private toast, * The 
ladies who locked up their husbands.' " — Twiss's Life of Lord 
Eldon, vol. ii. p. 554. 

Pqpula r Enth usiasra. 


would not conduct himself with propriety in a law 
court, and was surprised to find him " proper." 
O'Connell, who hated conventional propriety, was 
out of his element, and therefore he did not shine ; 
but notwithstanding Lord Eldon's prejudiced opinion, 
there was not a man in England, or out of, who could 
surpass O'Connell in arguing points of law. 

In January, 1826, Lord Sidmouth wrote thus : 

" Dr. Doyle and Mr, O'Connell have a lasting claim upon 
the gratitude of all good Protestants. They have completely 
dulcified my feelings towards them. Emancipation from 
poverty, and idleness, and ignorance, and consequently froni 
bigotry, is, I am satisfied, advancing rapidly in Leland." 1 

O'Connell returned to Ireland on the 1st Juno, 
1825, no doubt heartily dad to be freed from the 
restraints of English society, where he could scarcely 
move or speak without the utmost caution, so closely 
was he watched on all sides. Mrs. O'Connell and 
his daughters met him at Howth, which was then the 
landing-place for English packets, and he was escorted 
to his house in Merrion-square by an immense and 
most enthusiastic multitude. On his arrival he was 
obliged to address the people from the balcony be- 
fore the could be induced to disperse. In sunshine 
and storm, in summer and winter, by day, and even 
at night, O'Connell stood on that balcony from time 
to time, and, to the no small annoyance of his Protes- 
tant neighbours, responded to the calls of a grateful 
and faithful people. 

1 ''Diary of Lord Colchester," vol. iii. p. 403. 


Popular Enthusiasm. 

An aggregate meeting was held in a few days, 
and so great were the crowds who flocked to it for 
admission, that Anne-street Chapel, where it was 
held, was filled to overflowing five hours before the 
chair was taken. O'Connell was dressed in the 
uniform of the Association, a blue frock with black 
silk buttons, black velvet collar, and a gilt button on 
the shoulder, white vest, and white trousers. 

Mr. Coppinger spoke at the meeting, and made a 
sharp hit at the Duke of York, who, he said, should 
have had his " clerk " to say amen to his so-help-me- 
God speech. The renowned Jack Lawless was also 
present, and attempted to censure O'Connell for his 
conduct towards the forty-shilling freeholders, whom 
he had sacrificed for the Eelief Bill ; but he was 
soon silenced. O'Connell took care to avoid the 
subject. His popularity certainly was not lessened 
by it in Dublin, for at the conclusion of the meeting, 
the horses were taken from his carriage, and he was 
drawn in triumph to his house. Such scenes, now 
of frequent occurrence, must have been extremely 
offensive to the Government, yet they might have 
learned a lesson from them. It only needed a man 
to show an honest interest in the poor and the op- 
pressed to receive in return their life-long gratitude. 

A new Catholic Association was now formed, 
and in the formation, O'Connell contrived, with his 
usual discretion, to keep himself within the bounds 
of law. It was, indeed, no easy matter to suppress 
a man, whose resources seemed to be infinite, and 

A Gratification o f Little Minds. 


who, as soon as he was hunted from one form, 
started up in another. 

The first purpose of the new Catholic Association 
was to promote public and private peace; the second, 
to encourage education ; the third, to ascertain the 
number of the Catholic population ; the fourth, to 
erect Catholic churches and protect the poor ; the 
fifth, to promote science and agriculture ; the sixth, 
to encourage literature ; the seventh, to refute the 
charges made against Catholics. It was indeed a 
noble and exhaustive programme, and truly worthy 
of the enlightened mind which originated it. 

It has been one of the misfortunes of Ireland that 
those who have worked for her most faithfully, most 
earnestly, and from the very purest motives, have 
been always thwarted in their plans by some of their 
own nation. It is impossible to account for this 
strange and sorrowful phase in the Irish character, 
but it is none the less true. It may be, it probably 
is, the remains of that evil spirit which was intro- 
duced and fostered carefully by English statesmen, 
who, acting on the divide et impera system, left no 
effort unused to disunite Irishmen. Let us hope that 
this national disgrace will pass away in time, and 
that Irishmen will learn the folly and the reproach 
of division. 

O'Connell's conduct towards the forty-shilling 
freeholders was made the ground for a dastardly 
attack on his character, by men who were neither 
able nor willing to do one tithe of what he had done 


Of Unfailing Good Humour. 

for Ireland. It was just possible for them to snarl, 
terrior-fashion, at the noble lion who defended the 
sheep from the wolf. It is always a gratification to 
little minds to throw contempt on those whose intel- 
lect is far beyond their reach ; and they have not 
sufficient intelligence to see that, though they may 
have the gratification of annoying a nobler mind for 
a time, the real disgrace is their own ; and their 
names have only to be known that they may be held 
up to posterity to meet the contempt they merit. 

A " private public" meeting was held to denounce 
O'Connell, and O'Connell, like a man, presented 
himself at it, and defended his own policy as far as 
it was defensible, while he was too much a man not 
to admit that he might have been mistaken. One 
tiling at least was certain ; through reproach, or con- 
tempt, or the powerful opposition of men who should 
have rallied round him, he was resolved to stand 
up for Ireland. He could not but know that he had 
served her as no man had ever served her yet. That 
bon-liomme, which was his greatest charm, never for- 
sook him, and he concluded his speech on this occa- 
sion with that happy mixture of earnestness and fun 
which never failed to tell with quick-witted Celtic 
audiences : 

" I now call upon and conjure gentlemen to bury animosity 
and captious irascibility, and to join with me in fighting the 
common enemy. I can only say that if the entire country were 
to turn against me, I would not, like Scipio, go to lay my bones 
in foreign earth, but I would go to the aggregate meeting on 
Wednesday to reproach them by exerting myself to serve them, 

Reception at Wexford* 


if possible, twenty times more. (Laughter and applause). I 
am happy to be able to tell you that I have the report already 
prepared ; it will probably pass in the committee to-day, and 
will be presented at the aggregate meeting on Wednesday — 
where we shall all meet, I hope, with no other object than the 
success of our common cause— no other view than the interests 
of the people." 

When O'Connell went on circuit now, lie only 
went " special." His dexterity in cross-examination 
made him a forlorn hope, and it is to be feared that 
his professional duty required him to shield the 
guilty much more frequently than to defend the in- 
nocent. One of these cases occurred in the county 
Cork, where a father, brother, and son named Franks 
were murdered for arms according to one account, 
and to prevent the marriage of the latter, according 
to another. A maid-servant had escaped by hiding 
herself under a table, and one of the party turned in- 
former ; but O'Connell so bewildered them in cross- 
examination, that they contradicted